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Being Here...

The rain has brought such clarity...I never knew how much dust was hanging in our air, until we got so much rain recently. The day after a rain, the sky is crystalline, blue, bright and bold and almost too exaggerated to be real. The clouds are weird and wild. But the air gives off a crispness, bringing everything into magical and magnetic focus. Things that were blurred or fuzzy, stand out with a starkness that is usually absent from our lives here in SoCal.

The vividness of life right now is calling me. I feel at one with it and at the same time compelled to seek it out. Yesterday that was on the waterfront...I did something I rarely do. Slowed down. I was headed home from work a little early, traffic was terrible and so I pulled off and decided to walk the waterfront.

I had no exercise goal in mind. No timetable. No real purpose for being there other than to marvel at the sun’s fading light and the trickery that existed between the light and air. It was beautiful.

There were lots of people out, many of them tourists, enjoying a reprieve in their otherwise rainy Santa Barbara holiday. Eeking out what little outdoor time they could in a town that is almost always lived outdoors. I was there too, for the same reason, although I can enjoy it anytime, but don’t. Why? I am too busy with my schedule, life, responsibilities and other things that really aren’t all that important. But yesterday, I did something new. I just slowed down. I took the time. I gave it to myself. And it was fucking amazing.

I saw a couple on the beach at sunset with their dogs. It was clear they were there as much for themselves as the dogs. Then for no reason at all, they began to run., first the people, then the dogs. All together into the setting sun. It was the freest moment I have witnessed in so long. They ran because they could. Because they were alive. Because there was no reason not to. Because the running was what they came to do. Releasing worry and fear and pain with each step. All beings were smiling and laughing. I know some may not know that dogs can smile and laugh, but they do. And yesterday I got to see lives being lived out loud, running on the beach at sunset, full of life, full of promise, full of joy. I got to witness life in motion because I dared to slow down and participate.

For a moment, I wanted to join them. Then realizing how weird that would be, I settled into my seat on an old drain pipe and found contentment is the simple observing of life in motion. I could feel my heart stirring, yearning for nothing other than the current presentness of my own life. I was there. I took in a deep breath, look skyward and felt this profound sense of gratitude for my life. For my whole life. All of it. All the pain, misery, laughter, joy. I didn’t wish anything to be different. Just to be who I was, where I was, slowed to the pace of actual life...

And as the sun sank below the pier the people and dogs melted into the sun while a tear slowly rolled down my face. This is why I came. To be here. To live this life. To marvel at being given another day to enjoy the most special gift of being sober and alive. As the sun fell behind the pier, I thanked the universe silently for all the very many blessings in my life, which would include my sometimes hardships because I am finding out when you are able to be present there is no difference between the two.

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