This Day Will Never Come Again

We were having lunch in Puerto Morelos, a small town between Playa del Carmen and Cancun. It was about our third day back in the Yucatan, and we were filled with excitement about being on the Caribbean coast again.

 

caribbean mexico
After spending the morning exploring the beaches south of the town, we went to our favorite seafood restaurant, ‘La Pepita’ and were treated to such a delicious meal accompanied by friendly service that we could barely contain our joy.

 

Pepitos Puerto Morelos
‘Containing joy?’ As I wrote that I just thought about what a bizarre concept that is and why on earth we would ever want to contain joy… but I digress.
 
My boyfriend, who inserts the word ‘balls’ into every song he ad-libs can also, on occasion, be quite philosophical (don’t tell him I told you).

 

He turned to me and said, “The way we label and categorize time makes it seem as if it is an endless commodity. Like, ‘Monday’ and ‘next weekend’ and ‘next year’ make it seem like if we miss this one, we just get the next one. But that isn’t true. We will never get another day like this one. This is it.”

“Yes! This day will never come again!” I said, reciting the Herman Hesse quote I had recently heard in an online seminar by Caroline Myss:

“This day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. The sun will never shine as it does today…But you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best. ”

― Hermann Hesse, Klingsors letzter Sommer

Puerto Morelos beach

After lunch we strolled along the small malecon next to the beach and stumbled upon Jesus and his disciples.

sand sculpture Puerto Morelos

The sand sculptures were most likely created for semana santa (holy week) and they were spectacular.

Sand art Puerto Morelos

To be honest, I did not become aware of the metaphorical thread until later. Posting pictures of the sculptures on Instagram that evening, my own inner Yoda made the connection with impermanence and the importance of appreciating the beauty of each moment.

Easy for me to say, I guess. I live on the Caribbean, am healthy and materially rich by world standards.

That is what my inner gremlin says when it wants to shit all over my Yoda.

But I know I am only able to appreciate what I have because I have become dedicated to presence. I started really practicing presence when I was absolutely miserable in Guatemala a year ago.

Moment by moment, I attempted to see the beauty of it, even when it was challenging and tough.

Time is now

For much of the last year, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. Geographically. Creatively. Emotionally.

And yet, I knew I was where I needed to be and that the miracle of breath flowing through my lungs was cause for celebration even though at times my mental and emotional state was in flux.

I think it’s normal to think of other people’s journeys as being easier than they are and that joy comes naturally to some but not others. I used to think like that. Yet I have come to see joy, presence and gratitude as practices. It has very little to do with what you have but with what you make of it.

I have practiced these things over the last few years, stumbling around in my own psyche, wrestling with it in the darkness. I’ve discovered tools which work for me. Breathing mindfully, meditation, stillness and movement all play a part at different times.

But it’s been a willingness to let go of everything which blocks me from the beauty of the moment (shame, blame, fear) which has benefited me most.

No-one can do this for me. While I may have a blessed life, I can only fully embrace it if I do the work.

Now my challenge is to not to feel like I have to contain the joy which abounds within me.

Because this day will never come again.

My time here is precious and limited and I am relishing the miracle of it like never before.

Sarah Somewhere presence

subscribe to sarah somewhereMy next e-retreat, ‘Journey to Shine’ begins May 4. For twelve weeks, I will be sharing tools, practices and stories from my personal journey to encourage you to embrace your own. This will be the last e-retreat for the year and I hope you will join me in this space of healing and transformation.

My friend Sam just wrote about her experience of participating in the e-retreat and I am so touched by the connections and discoveries she made.

 

Comments

This Day Will Never Come Again — 21 Comments

  1. I think a common issue many of us face (perhaps it’s hardcoded into our DNA?) is never being satisfied with what we have and taking it for granted. I know that as much as I have spent time ignoring my present circumstances so that I can dream and plan for upcoming adventures, once I’m in the midst of those new adventures, I’m prone to still being elsewhere and failing to really take stock of what I do have and that in the here and now I truly have all I need. It’s so easy to be mindless instead of mindful (I really want that to be spelled MindFULL!)… certainly it’s something I struggle with every day. Rather than letting the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of my life slip away I want to be able to look back and know that I was present for and appreciated each and every one of them!
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..This Mexican Life: Reflections on our First Month in MexicoMy Profile

    • Yes Steph! So true. I think it is part of our evolutionary past to be constantly moving forward to the next ‘safe’ place while being in fear of what is going to prevent us from getting there! I think this has left us in a frazzled state, unable to be present in the moment. This is why mindfulness has to be a practice. I believe we can encode it into our thought patterns and I have experienced this within my own mind over the last year, which, in the grand scheme of things is a short time. I’ve also seen it in others in a shorter time frame, as soon as they begin to practice being present. One day we will be teaching it in schools and talking about the dark ages when people were only taught to read, count and write! :-)

  2. Great post Sarah, this resonates with me today as I head to funeral for a family family.
    Although the day is tinged with sadness, I also look at as a celebration of a wonderful life, with a being that has a postitive impact on everyone he crossed. While I recall memories of him I honestly can’t recall a time where he has been cranky or off, this was a man who did face adversity but made it his choice to choose the good stuff and appreciate good moments. I want to have this impact on the world . So on this sun shiney day I will celebrate a wonderful life and try recall these lessons when I am being sullen, sweating the small or thinking so one else’s bad humor is my doing.

    Thanks for inspiring me and sharing hope.

    C xxxx

    • Oh Claire bear, I am so sorry for your loss. Experiencing the death of a loved one is certainly a time when we question our own lives and I think it is wonderful that you have been inspired by the life of the person you said goodbye to. Yes, every moment is precious. I certainly get cranky and sweat the small stuff at times, but becoming aware of it so I can let go of it faster has been key for me. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it is so nice to hear from you – you a definitely a ray of light in the lives of all who are blessed to know you xxx

  3. The first of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras says “Yoga (union) is now”. This is what your post reminds me of. I can only ever be at union with myself and with the Divine if I am here now.
    The second yoga sutra says “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” When you wrote about letting go of all that blocks you from this moment, this is what came to me… when I can calm the fluctuations of my mind through meditation, mindfulness, asana practice, it is a way for me to let go of the blocks that keep me from the beauty both now and within.
    Lovely post as always, Sarah. Xxx sending much much love.
    Laurie recently posted..SilenceMy Profile

    • Yes! There are so many references to presence and stillness in ancient wisdom texts, even the bible. ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ is another one. While some may think Jesus meant to be still and know ‘he’ is God, I take it literally, meaning ‘I am God’ and that the divine presence; that consciousness which exists outside of time and space but which flows through us is here, now. Difficult to put into words, but you know what I mean because you are doing it. So much love back to you! xxx

  4. Beautifully said (you AND Tyrhone :) ). While we are not where we want to be at this moment, as you know, we are working hard to appreciate every minute. Partly because we never know when we will have our last, but also because some of the irritations now… mowing the lawn for one, will be something that we will someday miss because we won’t have a lawn to mow! I think it makes it easier, having departed on such a journey before, to understand there is very rarely a truly perfect place and time where absolutely everything is perfection. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a whole lot of perfect moments in time on any given day. I so love that you guys have such full hearts having come back to the home in your hearts.XOXO
    Rhonda recently posted..Phnom Penh beyond the Killing FieldsMy Profile

    • Hi Rhonda! Yes, you current situation is the perfect opportunity to practice presence. The challenging times always are. I think you are doing a wonderful job of making the most of where you are and what you have, even though you long for something different. I know the feeling well and was definitely NOT present when I was in the throes of planning, selling, saving, etc, so I admire your approach so much and know it will put you in a great place for when you transition into the next stage. It really is great to be back. During this last transition, I must say, I was quite present and accepting. In Colorado, while it didn’t go exactly to plan (we went to snowboard by Tyrhone hurt himself), we really made the most of the beauty, peace and quiet and woke up feeling blessed for what we had every day. I am learning, slowly, to take what comes and make the best out of every situation xxx

  5. Great pics and story. Love the one of you at the end – you look so content :)

    It’s funny how we humans work. Sometimes the more we have, the more we want, and it’s interesting that we can be so unhappy when we seemingly have everything. A few years ago I was at my lowest point, and everyone was telling me that I had no reason to be unhappy because I had everything I wanted.

    But that’s the thing; I didn’t have everything I wanted, I had everything they wanted. What I wanted was completely different, but I had spent my life waiting for tomorrow to come, and in the end, I felt like I had nothing.

    Here’s to mindfulness, and living in the present. Life can be truly beautiful.
    Tim UrbanDuniya recently posted..UrbanLegends: Sarah Chamberlain, Varanasi and lifeMy Profile

  6. I love that Hermann Hesse quote- it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race and lose sight of this moment. You know, the one right now?! I find it so easy to live in the moment when I’m traveling, and completely present- never looking ahead, just enjoying what is happening in the now. I find it so very difficult to harness the living in the moment in my everyday life- and yet as a nurse I know how precious and unique each day is. Stillness and breathing are great tools that provide me clarity into the present moment. Great post Sarah!
    Kristine recently posted..NorwayMy Profile

  7. You look deliriously happy in that last photo. :)

    And this really grabbed me: “I think it’s normal to think of other people’s journeys as being easier than they are and that joy comes naturally to some but not others.” – yes! As someone once said, don’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. (Or something like that).

    We don’t know what journeys other people have taken to be happy. At the end of the day, nobody is happy by accident. They choose it, even if just subconsciously.
    Karyn Jane recently posted..Coming Out Of The Broom ClosetMy Profile