If we aren’t careful, we can spend much of our lives on automatic pilot, mechanically flitting from this problem to that one, from bills to pay to distractions on television, from problems at work to problems at home, from bad memories of the past to chronic worry about the future. In this way, we can easily sleepwalk through our time here, day after day, overlooking the 800-pound gorilla in the room with us.
What are we overlooking? The simple, astonishing fact is that we are here, alive, together, at this moment. Our very existence is amazing.
Who are we? How did we come to be here, on a tiny planet, in the midst of an unimaginably vast universe? If we stop, and Have a Moment, we see that we are surrounded on all sides, and at all times, by mystery and enchantment. Look into the eyes of your lover, your child, the person who rings up your purchases, the person you hate, the person whose feelings you hurt, and notice how incredible this being is. They, and we, are miracles.
And it doesn’t stop there. The lavish display of stars across the night sky, the millions of blades of grass in a wide-open field, the endless ocean waves pounding the shoreline, and the countless living things in that ocean – all miracles.
Yesterday I watched a cat I know while he was sleeping. He is nine years old, a full-grown adult, and somewhat surly as cats go. He will scratch you. While sleeping, he began to dream. While dreaming, he started making a rhythmic movement with his paws, and he began to suck and then lick with his tongue. For several moments, he looked like nothing more or less than a kitten, suckling at his mother’s nipple.
A cat dreaming of his mother – the magic is everywhere.