Presence Of Mind (The Stone Series, Part V)

I was tromping about through Hidden Valley in Joshua Tree National Monument when I stumbled upon this ancient stone one who seemed to be gazing out at the vast expanse before us both. I heard the words of Confucius in my head. “No matter where you go, there you are.”

I was reminded of the magnificence that each moment in life provides, if only we choose to open our eyes to it. Such a reverence could very well be the key to making the most of any and every situation.

When I was a young adult, two buddies and I came upon a group of guys who had been spray-painting various phallic images here and there nearby. Some twenty minutes later, my buddies and I were splayed out on the ground, mangled and bloody. I had been knocked unconscious, and had a face wound that would later require two layers of stitches to bring the skin back together.

As the guys ran off, the youngest among them hesitated. He stood over me, saying, “get up, man. Get up!” I wasn’t sure if this was because he wanted to knock me down again, or because he wanted to see that I would be okay.

Some folks nearby found us and helped us make our way to the hospital emergency room. A team doctors, nurses and various staff members worked with great coordination to attend to our recovery. They were collaborating with the extraordinary capacity that our human bodies had for healing. There were supporting this particular moment along the greater unfolding of our lives.

Years later, sitting beside the ancient stone one in Joshua tree gazing out at the majestic lay of the land, I thought back to the kid who had stood over me asking me to get up. If only I’d had the courage and presence of mind to gaze back at him with reverence. What if in that moment, regardless of the circumstances that brought us together, I had allowed myself to see and honor him as a magnificent being in a magnificent world, much the way my experience with the doctors and nurses had felt? What if I had consciously considered the humanity that his life was unfolding through his various ups and downs? For starters, I would have found myself seated in appreciation and wonder, rather than fear and confusion.

I offer this image and these thoughts with appreciation for you, fellow traveler, who has taken the time to visit my blog. I honor the humanness that you uniquely unfold as you carry on along your path.

One comment on “Presence Of Mind (The Stone Series, Part V)

  1. Wow…amazing insight, I love what you took from such a dark instance in your life. You’ve definitely inspired me.

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