Last night I was working late glazing pieces, hoping to get my kiln loaded and fired. What would these pieces look like in the morning all fired and shiny? Would the glazes I chose for the new flowers work out? How long would it be before I could open the kiln if I didn't get it started until 10pm? I was feeling pressured. Out of sorts. In a silly rush of my own making.
While glazing, I remembered the story by Thich Nhat Hanh, in The Miracle of Mindfulness, about there being a right way and a wrong way to do dishes. The right way to do the dishes is 'to do the dishes to do the dishes.' The wrong way is 'to do the dishes to get them clean.' The wrong way focusses on the future and misses the miracle of life happening right now, in this moment. My mind was focussing on the future. I was glazing the wrong way, to fill the kiln.
I've had a lot on my plate lately with my son deployed, the future of my mother's health uncertain. A lot of my life has been too focussed on the future. Will my son come home safely? How extensive is the recurrence of Mom's cancer? Will she be able to live at home again?
This morning I woke up to brilliant sunshine after a heavy rain and booming thunder last night. The kind of storm that sends my old dog off to hide in the closet and the young one to shake curled up by my side. Look at those flowers up there. The as yet unopened blooms on the trumpet vine survived the storm and are now at this very moment in full glorious bloom. And I was there in the moment to see this miracle and it made me smile.