Growing up on the outskirts of Warsaw, my family had many apple trees. The apples were called “papierowki” (if anyone is from Poland, they may know this apple). It’s smell and wonderful taste are one of the loveliest experiences one can imagine. The apple trees were tended to every year and produced fruit bi-annually. When the trees were laden with these apples, my cousins and I picked carefully around all the bees in the late summer and ate one after the other.
When my grandfather was passing from pancreatic cancer, he could no longer walk and his appetite was very low. My grandmother was his caretaker and on some of his last weeks, in the middle of winter, he wanted to taste an apple more than anything in the world. In Europe, all types of fruit weren’t as available as here in the U.S during any given time, so it set my Grandmother up for a near to impossible task.
However, after going around to markets around the whole city she was finally able to bring one home for him.
In the last days of life, when death of the body is so vivid and real. What is it that is wanted most?
…these simple ordinary moments. The last kiss, the last hand-hold, the last taste of something you love.
Humans get so caught up in “goals” the “big pictures” and “problems”. Can we remember how the sunset light hits the leaves over the bubbling creek? Can we stop to observe a bumblebee on a flower? Can we feel the presence of someone we love, even if it’s on a phone call?
One of the reasons the non-duality message is so beautiful is because it attempts to point back to this simple and ordinary presence. Beyond expectations, dreams, and hopes of a future. Just these ordinary moments, that make up the sum of this experience.
There’s so much love in understanding this, it’s completely unfathomable…mysterious…grace.
I’ll just end this simple post today with my favorite Jeff Foster poem…
“Walking alone in the rain, bathed in consciousness, soaked in consciousness, consciousness as the raindrops, as the body they fall upon, as the splish-splash on the sidewalk, as the incomprehensible intelligence that opens the umbrella exactly on cue, making a mockery of the concept of the existence or non-existence of a separate ‘I’. And the raindrops whisper that the enlightenment we seek is not cold detachment or unfeeling world-denial or transcendence of the so-called ‘material’ world – no, it’s this unspeakable intimacy with the appearance of form, with this ever-changing watercolor scenery of life, its colors forever running into the gutters of emptiness. “Love us”, the raindrops whisper. “That’s all”. And I smile to myself at the seriousness and the mad, cosmic innocence of the spiritual search, the search for something more than THIS. For who could want or seek anything more than what is already given? Still, the beloved raindrops keep falling, and I – we – walk on, embraced by a love with no name…” ~Jeff Foster