I reread Terry Hershey’s The Power of Pause and was taken with this anecdote:
My friend Tim Hansel wrote a book on parenting. He asked his young sons, “Boys, how do you know Dad loves you?” He figured that they would say, “Remember when you took us to Disney World, for like ten days!” They didn’t say that. He figured they’d say, “Remember the Christmas when you bought us all that great stuff.” They didn’t say that. They said, “Dad, we know you love us when you wrestle with us.”
He remembered two times. He had come home hungry, tired and late. But these urchins were yanking on his pant leg. “So I rolled with them on the floor, toward the kitchen,” he said, “just to get them out of my way.”
And then it hit him. In the middle of that very ordinary, boring event, real life was happening. Unfeigned joy, love, intimacy connection, grace, sacrament – all were woven into the commonplace. “But,” Tim laments, “I missed it. Because I was only tuned in to Disney World and Christmas.”
I know that I, too, miss the miracle of daily life because I’m tuned out or tuned into the wrong stuff. Why is it so hard to live consciously in the present?