To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
A beautiful sunrise this morning—red-purple clouds hovering before a golden glow—stunning to see. And then it was gone. Just like that—looking away for a few moments—then back up again, and only a pinkish tinge fading fast to grey remained. Gone.
Life is like that. Nature is like that. The Earth is like that. The universe is like that. It’s all a matter of perspective, and within the infinite reaches of eternity everything that we know to exist remains but for an instant.
As we grow older, this becomes more evident—every half-life seems to be as long, whether it be from the ages of two to four, 22 to 44, or 44 to 88. That time is relative appears proven simply from the experience of life itself.
How do we reconcile this impermanence with our existence? How do we move forward through a thousand deaths, great and small? Stephen and Ondrea Levine once said, “When we recognize that…our body is already broken, that indeed we are already dead, then life becomes precious, and we open to it just as it is, in the moment it is occurring.”
There is so much beauty, so much wonder, to fill our short time here. In every single moment, in every single thing, lies an infinite source of fascination, if we take the time to look, to feel, to hear, to taste, to smell.
But only if we take the time. Most each and every one of us has somewhere we need to be, something we need to do, and in this rush to accomplishment we miss so much, so very much. Can you slow down for just a minute? Can you stop and notice?
Where are we going anyway, in this instant of existence? What can we possibly achieve that will alter time’s indomitable march? What goal is there to reach that won’t sometime be attained without your determined help?
And if there is nothing to aim for, does this cause us to lay down and cry, a wallflower without a wall? Or does this free us to be all that we could possibly be?
Time is a limitation, after all. If time is governing our every move, then we are being governed by limits. A slave to time is a slave indeed, shackled and whipped and used and abused by a master we invented, with mechanics we devised.
Time is but a construct we built to constrain us, to confine us within 12 lousy hours on a dial. One moment passes into the next, it’s true; all things age and pass away; but to call each moment a second abbreviates its beauty so much, we miss most all of what it really is.
What is this before you now? What contains you, and what do you contain? Worlds within worlds within worlds within worlds are yours to behold, arising and fading, being born, dying, spinning and whizzing and drifting by.
But where are you? Are you already caught in a future-past of your imagination? Are you engaged in a dialog that’s never going to happen? Are you calculating, preparing, planning things that work themselves out without you?
If your mind is not here, now, then you are quite simply not here, now. Look! You’re in an alternate universe that exists only inside your head. The brief period in which you exist has just been shortened by a thought.
How many thoughts have come between you and this? How many more will you allow? Eternity exists in every moment, where time stays still. Every moment, exactly like the last, and so, so different.
Slow down with me. Be in peace. At ease. Be at one with what is. See. Hear. Taste. Touch. Smell. Breathe. Breathe in this moment, for it is the last one ever just like this. And the first. It is the only, the one and only.
That breath. This breath. Oxygen from everywhere. Life! In this breath is all there is; a million moments morphing into one. History oozes in, through air breathed by billions—it’s all a part of you, and all you had to do was breathe.
The world will come to you if you let it. Allow, be open. Inhale. Here is the world, and it is yours. Here is the universe, and it flows through you. There is nothing it cannot do, if you let it, if you but let it be.
Breathe in, be open. Breathe out, let it go. Breathe in, take it all in. Breathe out, let it be. Feel it flow; feel the flow; be the flow. Flower now, then fruit. For fruition comes from surrender: the plant seeks not its pollinator.
Whatever you are chasing is not forever. Only forever is forever, and that is what this is. Beyond appearance, beyond perception, beyond time, beyond our thoughts—beyond every limitation we set—forever sits patiently waiting.
Find forever now. Find forever in now. Forever is here, for it never ever left. Forever is everywhere, for that is what it is. Forever is forever is forever is forever, and here it is, right now.