Thursday, January 10, 2008

This Moment. This Now. By Kathryn Magendie

The mountain is warm for January—a light sweater is all I need. Last week, I bundled up in long underwear and down vest, the temperature high only got to eleven degrees. Record cold then record heat, within two weeks. No matter. This is the earth and the earth turns. The earth changes. The earth breathes. As I walk our dogs, I’m not listening to the creek singing, to the birds calling out, or the way the bare branches rub together—I swear it sounds like a whale’s call. Instead, I’m thinking about all I have to do. I walk quickly, ticking off in my head: edit, write, go, be, do, find, email, call…

Kayla and Jake trot beside me, at turns sniffing the ground and then raising their snouts to the air. Kayla is getting old, her limping walk makes me sad, but her brown and tan fur remains thick and beautiful. Jake is panther-like, the muscles rippling beneath his shiny black coat. Kayla stops to sniff the grass and I tug her leash a bit. She doesn’t move, but keeps sniffing. Impatiently, I tug again, and say, “Come on, Kayla!”

And it is at that moment I catch up with myself. I see myself as from above. What’s happened to the woman who walked this mountain every morning and listened, enjoyed, experienced? Where have I gone? My dogs look at me, see that I’m not going to tug them away from new smells, and both begin excitedly sniffing in the grass—a coon? Bobcat? Deer? Bear? A visiting dog? It could be anything at all! I close my eyes, take in a deep breath. Listen. The creek rushes, filled from last night’s rain. A dove coos. To my left, old brown leaves rustle. To my right, branches touch, saw rub saw. I sway in the wind as it pushes against me, enters my ear and whispers: “I am here. You are here. This is all that is now.”

I open my eyes and spot Roger walking towards us. My husband smiles, raises a hand that says, "I’m coming. Sorry I’m late!” I smile back. I am filled—I am full. The moment catches in my chest and I inhale all the air I can to keep the moment held there. This moment. This now. This is what matters.


Angie Ledbetter said...

...breathing in a little peace in the moment with you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kat,

I can smell the smell the fresh air and hear all the creatures! How blessed you are.


Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you...I had a good raisin' -- as in the one who raised me, not the dried fruit *laugh* -- that taught me to appreciate.

Anonymous said...

i can appreciate those walks, too. thanks.

Listen to our Podcasts