In many ways, tonight truly is “The Big One.”
You know: fireworks across the globe, Times Square, the 1812 Overture and, all in all, a night of both revelry and reverie.
Well, it is that, and an incalculable amount more.
Until recently, I thought the main way to approach a new year was grumbling about the past and prognosticating about the future. Well, I was wrong.
I recently realized my “New Year’s wrongheadedness ” when two things happened:
- A friend of mine reminded me that we’re living in the eternal present, and how: Our fulfillment does not lie in the future; it lies in the present. Joy is not a consequence; it is a state of being—not to be found in some far and distant future, but in the moment called now; and
- I came across some inspired writings on the web from affirmative living guru, Eden Clarke.
In these musings by Eden Clarke was a story, which goes like this:
“In the centuries-old story of the woman clinging to the face of the cliff, a hungry tiger paces above her. She is slowly, inevitably slipping. If she escapes the tiger below by scrambling up, she’s tiger-meat. If she does nothing, she slips down to become . . . tiger-meat. She looks around her, and there, within arm’s reach, a succulent ripe strawberry is growing. She plucks the strawberry, and eats it, bite by bite.This is our strawberry , this moment in time we call now. This now is the only time we can be happy. We’re not happy yesterday, or tomorrow, in the past or in the future: that’s remembered or anticipated happiness. Being happy, like breathing, is here and now. Nowhere else, and no when else.Now is eternal when we let go of the twin tigers of yesterday and tomorrow and give our attention to the present moment. Right here, and right now, is the action time, the only place we actually touch our lives directly, and the only time we can change and transform our lives effectively.”
That really seems to be an important realization: “There is no other now than now.”
So are these, also by Eden:
“There is no other now than now. This is it.” Far from being a carpe diem surrender to the senses and to experience, Clarke observes: “As we form the simple habit of living now, and becoming fully accustomed to being fully present to the moment at hand , we find it’s not to the exclusion of practical, everyday routines and jobs. Necessary and appropriate planning are solidly a part of the now moment.”
So what about all the New Year ’s excitement? Actually , we can enjoy it even more when we realize that we’re not being shackled to the past, or the future.
When every day is a celebration, then we can treat every moment as our golden opportunity. Every tick of the clock, is laden, then, with complete fullness of meaning, limitless possibilities. Every second can hold, within its span, shoreless joy and boundless truth.
Let’s pop those corks! Let’s watch those fireworks. Let’s dance ’til we drop! The juicy “strawberry of now ” is in our hands.