What Really Matters in Life Is…

I received an email ad from a mental wellness site to which I subscribe with the header: “What really matters in life is….”

The question stuck in my head all day.

This is not the first time this site has had a thought-provoking header, and while I’m not purchasing the gift book it’s advertising, I am buying the concept of being “in the moment” about what really matters in life to me.

Today’s photo is a prime example of what matters to me: My 7 AM Saturday morning walk in the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Those walks are an opportunity to connect with myself, with my spirit, to (literally) sweat out the stressors of the week. I have to focus on the details of the flora and fauna around me so that I can capture something that will only be here fleetingly.

   

While people are important to me too, many people are so tunnel-visioned into themselves that they cannot see the gifts in front of them. I am guilty of that too, which is why the ritual of the walk is so important to me.

The Japanese Garden portion of the Botanical Gardens has become more important to me because its elements invite contemplation. One of my favorite fountains has a large rock next to it that’s perfect for sitting on; when I do, I’m forced to stop, and listen to the soft drip of the water, which becomes surprisingly loud and often blocks out the surrounding ambient noise.

What really matters in life to me is being open to the wonders this life is showing me. For a long time I lost touch with myself and my ability to do just that: be open, but it’s slowly coming back.

 

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