One fall weekend our family visited Bosque del Apache wild bird refuge near Soccoro, New Mexico, to watch Sandhill cranes, Canadian geese and wild ducks launch off the winter migration refuge ponds at sunrise, honking as they headed out for their daily feed. Our seven-year-old granddaughter joined us, enthusiastically amazed at the beautiful birds. Then she sat down to dig in the soft dirt at the side of a lake. I considered reminding her she could play in the dirt anytime – this was a special time to focus on the birds -but I refrained.
In a few moments she yelled, “Grandma! Come see what I wrote!” I was preparing to watch another family of ducks swoop off into the sky and did not want to be disturbed. I did not want to listen. “Grandma! Come SEE what I wrote! Puleeeeze!!”
Remembering my focus on holiday season “presence”, I tore myself away from what I preferred and went to join her. Etched in the dirt with her gloved hand were the words, “I love crans”.
“See Grandma! I love cranes!” Then she stood up, opened her arms wide, looked up into the bird-filled sky and hollered, “I love you, cranes!”
Oh-my-God. What a priceless moment I would have missed had I not taken time to be present with her.
If each of us, only once a day, gave our presence to another person’s moment, what gift would it hold for both of us?
May your holy season be filled with the Gift of Presence.
Take life into your own hands and make it happen. It’s your life. Lead it.
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