Recently, we attended a one-hundredth birthday party. This woman was about five when the US entered World War I. Think of that—she’s survived two world wars. Somehow, in a small community, she really stands out.
A farmer’s wife, she’s known hard work and has survived a whole lot more, including two children’s deaths. But she’s bright, full of faith, alert, and articulate.
When we exclaimed over her pretty peach suit and lovely corsage, she smiled, “I feel like a Christmas tree.” Her creative assertion inspires us.
I’d say this lady, surrounded by a big, loving family, portrays mindfulness to the hilt. Our past propels us into channels and habits, unless we consciously redefine our lives. To awaken to our unique, God-ordained self, we must be aware of our surroundings, our intuitions, thoughts, emotions, and actions.
In other words, we become mindful. Where am I at this present moment? What colors do we see? What sounds entrance us, what new ideas float into our consciousness? How will this moment recreate us for what lies ahead? The present lays the foundation for new plans, new adventures, new ways of being.Apart from mindfulness, our lives pass by default—not to decide is to decide.
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare
is to lose oneself.”
That limbo-like sensation of losing our footing throws us off, but if the alternative means losing who we are, isn’t the choice, as they say, a “no-brainer?”
So, along the way, our birthday girl made consciously decided how she would respond to life's twists and turns. In a sense, she created the “Christmas tree” before us today.
In her long lifetime, how many times did she dare? She graciously receives guests in our church narthex and calls herself a Christmas tree—yet she most likely lost her footing momentarily a few (dozen) times throughout the years. Her sense of humor testifies she found it again.
Her sparkling eyes and perky voice motivate me to go out and take a risk we thought impossible. Here’s to losing our footing more often!