Be Mindful of the Moment

man in parkThe here and now is all we hold
through times of joy and sorrow.
We may watch fulsome years unfold—
or may not see tomorrow.
Be mindful of the moment.
Pay attention to each one.
The past has fled beyond our grasp,
the future’s yet to come.

There is no way to measure
what ensuing days might bring,
So seize the utmost pleasure
found in every daily thing.
The road of life is far too short:
no need to travel fast.
Investigate the wonders
that lie strewn along the path.

The tender leaves on springtime trees,
rough pebbles on the ground,
The snowflakes drifting on the breeze
that fall without a sound,
Are all unique and precious,
if we take the time to see.
No two have been identical
in all eternity.

Is this not true of people too?
Be mindful, then, of each.
Both strangers and those close to you
have useful things to teach.
The two of us part richer
if we pass the time of day,
And don’t just brush each other off,
then hurry on our way.

Preoccupied by urgent schemes
of business, love or power,
By gambling on our future dreams,
we lose the present hour.
A life is forged of moments linked
together like a chain.
Live each in full—for down this road
we shall not pass again.

Copyright © 2004 Neil Harding McAlister, Traveler’s Tales.