I was driving to work from my Burbank home last week and it occurs to me that at the ripe old age of 63 I can still be “the procrastinator”. It did not leave me feeling very highly evolved, which of course we all know I am (insert eye-roll here.)
On my routine drive into the office, from my Burbank home, I have become familiar with the scenery I pass. I look for the neat and tidy yellow apartment building on the right, just after the apartment building which is missing its tree. After that I know the old Circuit City building will be approaching on my left. That means it will not be long until I reach Ranchito Street. There is where I find the apartment building I want my house painted the same color as.
It is the missing tree that is the visual for my point today ladies and gents. The enlightened path we are on has taught me that what matters is right here, right now. This present moment. So last winter I was on my journey to work, from my Burbank home. I approached a lovely but rather plain apartment building along the way to my right. Suddenly I was struck by the beauty of this young birch tree draping its fragile limbs. They almost seemed to be reaching for something unseen. It was one of those atmospheric days and it was about to rain. The sky was dark and cloudy, covered with large clouds. The clouds had arranged themselves in a symphony of whites and light to darker grays. Alone they looked like a beautiful watercolor. This tree, dancing in the breezes against the lack-luster blue gray building for its backdrop was also dramatic. The scene was so remarkable to me that I thought about pulling over to take a photo of it. But no, I might then be late to work.
I passed this tree for the next several days. Each day I thought I should capture the loveliness of that small birch in a photo. Day four. I approached the small tree and to my shock and dismay it had been sawed off to just a foot or two above the ground. It broke my heart. There its small white and black dappled stump stood all alone against the backdrop of that building. It looked abandoned. No movement, no feeling, no photo. Why hadn’t I stopped to take that photo.
Had this young tree fought mightily against the harshness of the day’s elements and snapped, only to have some do-gooder trim its stump to an even disgrace? Perhaps the neighborhood hooligans also noticed the speck of beauty in their otherwise grim hood and were offended by it’s suggestion of goodness and had retaliated? I might never know.
Each day on my way from my Burbank home, I look for that tree stump still there. It reminds me of what was once there.
I honor its creation in my mind.
It reminds me of how fragile life can be with its “here today, gone the next” tendencies.
I give thanks for mine and thanks for those I love.
Most importantly, it reminds me to live in the here and now without hesitation or regret.
I know I will now take photo opportunities without procrastination.
Yes folks, all this while driving to work – from my Burbank home.
With love and wishes for a joyous New Year,