I honestly thought I was present in my life. That is, until I tried to paint Bella Bird, my parakeet, from memory. Bella came to me months ago purely by coincidence… a lost turquoise blue bird set in the emerald green grass far from any house. I have no idea how she got there but I adopted her & have loved her ever since. She’s bright blue with white & black feathers down her back and a white breast with little royal blue & black dots like a necklace around her neck. Beautiful!
What does this have to do with being present? Well, I sketched her one evening & decided to take the sketch to work, where I would add color to it during lunch. I sat with watercolor pencils, a fine tip black marker, & a few brushes, confidently adding the turquoise blue to her feathers as well as other details. When I took the finished sketch home & held it up near Bella, I had her coloring completely reversed, white where blue should be & vice versa! How did I not see her when every day she sets on my finger about 3 inches from my face?!
How many times is life like that? We get so busy with our lists, errands, & so-called commitments that we don’t truly experience our own lives. I’m obviously doing too many things if I can’t take time to see the world around me. I’d like to pare down life to the essentials– loved ones, nature, art, & my spirituality. I want to see. I want to be present in my own life.