“The great lesson from the true mystics, from the Zen monks… is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends, and family, in one’s back yard, and that travel may be flight from confronting the sacred – this lesson can be easily lost. To be looking everywhere for miracles is to one a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.”
~ Abraham Maslow…Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences
I remember spending hours building sand castles by the ocean in the summer as a child. At some point each day the tide would come in and I would work desperately to prevent my creation from becoming part of the sea. I would become oblivious to all the beauty around me in my frantic attempts to save my castle. Yet I always lost to the sea.
Some days I sit and think about the castles I’ve created in my adult life. Lofty castles as I climbed the business ladder, castles of my design as I built a
business of my own, castles of important things to do, appointments to be kept, places to see. As I look back I realize the tides of time have taken
many of my castles back to the sea. In their place I’m left with memories. But memories of what?
Funny, but I can’t remember where we were going that we had to leave in such a hurry that I couldn’t let my son share with me his newly developed skill of tying his shoes. I don’t remember who was on the phone when I shushed the boys when they came running in to share the rainbow they saw with me. I don’t have any idea what was so important on my mind that I only half listened to my friend when she wanted to share a difficulty she was having. What castles were I saving? Where are they now?
We build sand castles in our lives. And sometimes we become so busy building castles that as we rush on to ‘more important’ things we miss the beauty and magic of what is before us. Always looking somewhere else, looking ahead, looking behind, fighting the incoming tide, we miss the ordinary, the sacred, the miracle, the joy of life. Its right where we are. We can see it if we stop and look.
Take a moment from your castle building.
Take a deep breathe.
Look around you.
THIS is life.