What is it about our human longing that makes us want to be someplace – any place – else? Why are we not satisfied with the grace of this moment, right here, right now?

This all comes to mind because I watched a movie yesterday filmed in and around the Puget Sound. The beauty of the panoramic shots of the Olympic Mountains, the Puget Sound, and the stunning water and beach scenes made me incredibly homesick.  I wanted to be there and not here.  I wanted the beauty of that familiar scenery surrounding me and not the scenery that has become so familiar to me here.

Some of this longing for another place is good and is what inspires our pioneering spirit.  If we never left where we once were, we would never go anywhere.  The point, I think, is to ask ourselves:  are we living our days in continual longing, or are we appreciative of this time and this moment?  Can we live with the tension that lures us to something different while we remain awake to the amazing grace present in our familiar surroundings?

Just as I was thinking about this, I came upon an elderly gentleman with a cane who was bending over someone’s front fence to admire a budding rose.  He was leaning ever so close to it, perhaps trying to smell its scent.  I wish I had had the courage to break into his private moment and take a picture.  However, I resisted the impulse, and thought to myself that I will just have to remember the scene and imagine it again in my mind.  Here was a man fully engaged with his immediate surroundings in this place at this particular moment.  It was an iconic scene.  “Remember to stop and smell the roses.”  Grace is right where we are — wherever that is!

Can we take full advantage of our surroundings, and however much we may long for someplace else, see the beauty and the grace present right here where we are – in this place at this moment?


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