• Gwendolyn Houston Jack

Be Present


The other day I found time to pull the many weeds in my flower bed. Spring was finally coming around, it wasn't raining, and the weather was spot on for some tilling of the land. I truly love my flower bed. I have a grand collection of butterfly bushes, daylilies that have multiplied many times over, and a cactus. The cactus was a gift from my aunt because she has dozens of them, and she wanted to share something with me and my husband.


Sometimes we move through life without any true focus or attention to what we're doing. We're on autopilot essentially. Earlier this year I was tasked with finding my word for the year. I didn't discover a word, but more of a phrase. Well, while pulling the wicked weeds from my flower bed I got just a tad too close to the cactus. It quickly reminded me I was too close. It also reminded me of the phrase I selected for this year: be present.


There is nothing more disappointing than missing out on one's own life. This pandemic is teaching us a lot (if we choose to hear the lessons). One lesson I've come to recognize is my constant need to be on the go. Granted photographers travel a great deal, but I wasn't aware how much I needed to be still...for me. I've always made dates and other appointments, but I was missing the opportunities to do things for me.



When I looked at all the weeds in my beloved flower garden, I saw a glimpse of me. I recognized the life of projects upon projects and maybe an obsession to always stay a step ahead. Not very healthy really (in my opinion). So these few weeks of being isolated from the daily hustle and bustle of the American work life has been a blessing. Trust me I have every intention of moving forward in this new direction


So I implore each of you to sincerely stop and consider what this time of isolation has brought to head. I even challenge you to find your word, or phrase, for this year. In my heart of hearts, I believe we will be better for the struggles we are enduring today.

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