Being Present: Part 2

This is a two part post (Part 1 here) about how we are enjoying the summer, and more than any other time in my life, I'm finding myself fully reveling in the joy of the present. 
In the midst of the shadows, we find joy and love are constant. I am sure our life and summers always are great, but this summer seems especially poignant as I'm forced to live and appreciate the moment.  Maybe this is the new state of consciousness, and we have a lot to learn from our children who live so fully in the moment.  This summer I'm spending a lot of time outside.  

We enjoy our few vegetable plants. We thought a squirrel or bunny was eating our cucumbers so we made a scare crow from a blue wig from the dress up box and a pie tin, but the cucumbers were still munched.  A few days ago, Molly caught the culprit -- it was our dog, Rosie! Vignettes like these fill me with cheer. 

I love drinking coffee outside in the mornings, and noticing the dew on these plants. 
 In so many ways, scenes of summer epitomize what I want to remember and appreciate about life. 

“Life is to be experienced, not fought against, run from, or engaged halfheartedly. Though we may wish to make changes in the future, to be conscious is to be with an experience as it’s unfolding, rather than thinking about how we would like to change it. Taking charge of our life so that we alter the quality of our experiences in the future comes after an experience.” ― Shefali TsabaryThe Conscious Parent  

Last Monday, we met BJ's surgeon and learned more about the brain surgery procedures he will have this Fall. I really felt like we are just pretending to be an adult, sort of like Molly does when she wears high heels. 
The doctor was kind, competent and connected with BJ on fly fishing. 
 Both the doctor and his Nurse Practitioner will be performing the surgery, and were both great! 
Dr. Kalhorn brought this procedure to Georgetown and I have confidence in the process (Here is a video describing details).  When we came home, BJ was sort of in a funk and he said, "I'm going to lay in the hammock and just center myself." Honestly, I don't think he would have taken note of his emotions or how to deal with them before Parkinson's Disease; again, it is the darkness or the fear of progression of the disease, as doctors say,  that force us to focus on the light, savoring this precious season. 

Swim team makes up a big part of the summer, offering great lessons about community, and keeping us on schedule in the lazy days of summer.   I'm amazed at all the parent volunteers who do so much to make it all so fun (including BJ, who is on "the board"). Below is Molly putting the paint on her hand to make a team banner.

Molly is 6, but practices with the 7-8 age group and she is seeing success.
This week she won the event by beating the other kids by over 5 seconds.

This is Anna Cate's sixth season and I love knowing it is such a big part of her childhood.

Anna Cate took this last school year off from year-round swim but she has approached the practices and meets with enthusiasm and will be doing year round swim this Fall.

I love watching them make and cheer on their friends.

And their friends coming to watch them.

Brenda, Anna Cate and Molly's Baba, came to watch them this week like she has every year. I dug up on old blog I wrote about Anna Cate's first year swimming where she hung on the lane line to find and wave to Baba.

Five years ago, I wrote, "I think her smiling face and eyes darting at Brenda personified the joy for the journey. For Anna Cate, looking at Baba and me was a bigger deal than the finish line and I think that stopping along the way to notice who your fans and friends are is an important part of the race. . . .of life." 

And now, just like that 5 year old Anna Cate who hung on the lane line in the middle of the race to enjoy the scenery,  our family has been reminded to enjoy the journey in the presence of fearing a disease's progression. Ultimately, I can't bear to focus on the finish line, yet I believe we are much happier in general as we focus on the present. We are about to embark on a time in our life when we need our friends and family to help us through the ordeal of surgery and recovery. We believe the quality of BJ's life will be better for the struggle we will endure this Fall. Yet in the mean time, I'm finding the experiences of joy deeper,  the journey more meaningful, and the good times with our family more appreciated.

Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness. -Eckhart Tolle


Sarah, I love reading your blog posts because it makes me feel a little bit connected to you. However, lately after reading them, they leave me wanting for more, wanting to hear your actual voice. I know you've send me your phone number before and I can't find it. Would you please resend it to me AND tell me a time in the near future when we could have a phone date? You can email me at: Looking forward to hearing from you, I'm flexible for times to chat, mornings, afternoons, or evenings-whatever works for you. Love you!