Just another day. Every day, I wake up with the faint shreds of a dream lingering in my mind. I shake off the cobwebs, shrug, and stretch myself to my morning one-hour meditation. Some days, I remember the dream. Some days, I only remember the feeling of the dream. Many many days, even as I begin my meditation, my thoughts run backwards into the past and forward into the future. I am reminded of that song, Windmills of Your Mind, by Dusty Springfield.
Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind…
And that’s what today is. My mind runs circles, the windmills spinning furiously.
But these days, I have understood that the past has no expiry date. The past remains, hovering over us, gaining control over us because we think about it so much. I have understood through close encounters with death that Today comes with an expiry date. Today is just this. The swirling of each moment, building layers of our life, half-forgotten kisses of memories and desires until we lay our head down into another end. I remember Pema Chodron in one of her books, who sweetly asks us to be curious about today.
“The best spiritual instruction is when you wake up in the morning and say, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen today.’ And then carry that kind of curiosity through your life.”
Since I read that, I have begun to live that. Life takes on a more beautiful hue when you are curious, I realize. I have learnt that from my friend, Travelling Birdy, whose curious nature I used to laugh at, but that same curious self I now admire. To be curious is to be alive. And when we are curious about our todays, we are no longer spinning those windmills from the past or the wheels of the future. We are being present here, grateful for the blessed opportunity to be alive. We are then living. Isn’t that what our todays should be made of?
What are you curious about today?