Hello again. Spring is just beginning with crocuses in full bloom near the pond. Buds on the trees are getting fuller and in several more weeks there will be blossoms like those in this photo of our flowering crabapple tree a year or so ago.
Have you ever had an amazing encounter with another person that blew your socks off? It happened to me last week when I was doing a series of author events in Albuquerque. At Bookworks, I was promoting my most recent book, UNPREDICTABLE CROSSING. As people gathered for the presentation a gentleman in the back of the seating area responded to a comment that I made about the independence movement in Mozambique. It turns out that his father, a white Portuguese, had been very active in trying to wrest control of the province away from Portugal. He'd been so active that he was forced to flee Mozambique with his family when the man speaking to me was 14 years old. I learned so much from him in our brief conversation, that I longed to know more.
What an amazing experience! I can hardly believe that someone who lived in Lourenzo Marques, now Maputo, turned up at one of my events. He gave me a much broader awareness of other people who were trying to make changes that I suddenly realized how limited my perspective was. For a moment, my reality and thinking was pulled back to Mozambique in a profound way.
The previous events and other plans in Albuquerque had been unfolding in ways that disheartened me so hearing this man talk buoyed me up for the rest of the week. It still lifts me up to another level as I prepare for an event next Sunday.
Just when you think you know how plans will proceed, life delivers a little jolt to make you pay attention. This one was pleasant and had a longer effect to make me think more deeply about what I say when I'm in front of people and to besure that I allow them to contribute to the discussion.
There have been many learned people who've written about awareness and the importance of now. Decades ago, Paul Tillich wrote The Eternal Now. More recently, Eckart Tolle has written The Power of Now. Other authors focus on the importance of 'being present' or maintaining 'awareness' as we live each day. This encounter made me realize that I had not been fully engaged in the moment. I am so grateful to this gentleman for many reasons and one of them is the reminder that I was not paying attention. How awful it would have been to miss his conversation. I hope that I stay aware of the eternal now as I live each day so that I don't miss any of the good parts.