Remaining Present

I was standing on the platform at the station waiting for the 15.17 to Glasgow yesterday. I arrived early, but not early enough to catch the earlier train. Reminding myself to be patient, I began pacing up and down the empty tracks.

I looked forward to the direction the train would take me:

Future

I looked back at the direction it would come from:

Past

I looked down at the tracks, at that spot in space where the doors would open and I would step forward:

Right Here

And then it suddenly struck me – I wasn’t in the moment. I wasn’t paying attention to the present. My mind was traveling with the train I was waiting for, or the train I had missed. I was watching the moment pass me by…

And then I looked up:

Present

The beauty of my surroundings overwhelmed me. The blue sky seemed bigger than it had when I first began to wait for the 15.17. The sun warmed my face as I lifted my gaze upwards and breathed in the cool spring air. My senses tingled. My mind cleared. My body relaxed.

I remained present.

When was the last time you reminded yourself to stay in the moment? What did you notice in that moment? What have you noticed since?

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March 28, 2008. Environment.

15 Comments

  1. nengaku replied:

    thank you for the reminder! šŸ™‚
    I just noticed that I was getting tense and making all kinds of negative judgments about several things that happened today.
    Now I’m HERE again.
    Listening to the fan of the computer and the tic tic of my keyboard and aware of an itch in my left elbow – and my breathing slows.
    Peace

  2. Karen Swim replied:

    Amy, you have such a keen ability to allow us to see the world through your lens. I am under the weather but even when sick it is important to be in the moment. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  3. Zhu replied:

    I’ve just noticed I was getting tired… which is understandable because it’s almost 1am here in Canada but it’s like 7am in France and I’m still jet lagged!

    The pictures are really nice… We should all look up at the sky and around us more often!

  4. Nouveau Fauves replied:

    It is a really good thing to make yourself do much more often than most of us tend to do……this business of putting ourselves in the present and enjoying it.
    Your tracks and bridges look just like ours! I must get to Scotland some day.

  5. Joanna Young replied:

    Amy, I got a shiver when you wrote the words ‘looked up’ and then showed us the picture of that glorious sky. Just like the feeling of being totally present: humbled, grateful, wonder-ing.

    Thanks for the reminder šŸ™‚

    Joanna

  6. Daz Cox replied:

    brilliant!!!!

  7. wendikelly replied:

    Amy, You have an amazing abilty to get your point across with simplicity.A few sentances,four pictures and a huge WOW factor.
    You inspire me in the mornings. This is a great way to start my day. Being presant is hard for someone with a running to-do list who writes in her head while she walks.
    You just pulled on my kite string and brought me back down into the moment.
    Time for coffee and quiet time.
    Thanks and good morning.

  8. Mike replied:

    Wonderful post, Amy. I love how the photos illustrate your thought process.

    I was eating dinner last night and realized I was just mindlessly eating… so I consciously brought myself into the present and was mindful of putting the food into my mouth, and chewing slowly… fully tasting and appreciating the food. It is amazing how different the moment is when we are present to experience it.

  9. Writing Mommy replied:

    I was like that for middle two weeks of March, worrying about my son’s eye check up and wondering what we would do if something negative turned up. And then we had good news so I’m able to focus a little more on the present. But your post made me realize I need to do that more often. Insightful.

  10. Alina Popescu replied:

    Actually, Amy, it’s been quite a while since my present gets disrupted by my constant plans, ideas and worries for the future. I’m working towards major changes in my life and that seems to have taken over most of my brain.

    Thank you for reminding me of all the present beauty and unique moments I am wasting!

  11. Nicholas replied:

    Yes, I understand how you saw the beauty of your surroundings when you looked up, but I must admit to huge pangs f nostalgia and homesickness at your photos of the platforms and roadbed of a suburban British rail station. I could actually feel what it is like to stand there, and I wanted to be there.

  12. mica replied:

    Wow, found the link to your blog on Gala’s iCing and I’m glad I did. You have real talent! I love the photos šŸ™‚

  13. amypalko replied:

    It’s all abut being HERE in the NOW, isn’t it, Nengaku?

    I really hope you’re feeling better, Karen, and I admire that you’re still trying to be in the moment, even when in that moment you’re feeling physically sick. Get well soon šŸ™‚

    Jetlag is just awful, isn’t it, Zhu? Hoping you acclimatise soon!

    Yes you must come over one day, Nouveau Fauves. I’ll take you for a trip on those railways šŸ™‚

    I’m so glad that my image managed to communicate the awe that I felt, Joanna. You are most welcome for the reminder, my friend.

    Thanks Daz! So glad you liked it šŸ™‚

    I love the thought that my blog helps you start your day, Wendikelly. That is such a wonderful compliment. Thank you!

    I think everything becomes more amazing, when we slow down to fully appreciate the present, Mike. Don’t you?

    It’s hard to focus on the present when you’re worrying about the future, Writing Mommy. Glad that the results for your son’s check up were positive!

    Our lives are all so busy these days, Alina, that I think it is even more important that we enjoy the present moment. The one that’s happening right now…

    Ah, but it won’t be long now, Nicholas! Until you make it over, I’m afraid you’ll just have to make do with the photos šŸ˜‰

    Hey Mica! Welcome to the blog. I’m glad you found me through Icing, and hope you’ll come back again.

  14. Bo replied:

    Thank you, Amy, for the timely reminder. It is so easy to live in the past and anticipate the future, never realizing the present is frittering away, unnoticed.

  15. radha replied:

    I love to be in the present most of the time cause there is no meaning to think about the past and planning the futur ea lot. We are now made out of present, every moment, it s so joyful, so true, so enriching, Present is the best dimension we can all live to grow in our awareness, isnt it?

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