Monday, July 12, 2010

Lessons I'm Learning

The Pageant isn’t produced on Sundays or Mondays so the last two days have been slow at the Smith Farm. But that gives us time to meditate and soak in the feelings. One of the most interesting things is watching the difference in the people that come here. It has taught me whole new aspects of what Living in Truth means. Most of the people are on a Church History sites tour and have been to or are going to Kirtland, Nauvoo, and other sites. Some people hurry through as if to check the place off their lists. “All right, we’ve done that one now. What next?” seems to be their attitude.

Others come with scriptures in hand and plan to spend some time in the Grove pondering and communing with God. As we were patrolling the Grove on our shift this morning we happened on a young woman kneeling at a bench praying. And the other day we encountered a young family that had stopped at a bench. Their scriptures were open on the bench and the mother was helping the four young children record their thoughts about the Grove in their journals. Other parents just let their children loose in the Grove and don’t even make sure they don’t cause any damage.

Last Saturday two youth groups came in for youth conference. One came in very reverently (you could tell they had been instructed in how to treat the Grove), wearing Sunday clothes, with scriptures under their arms, and had a meeting. The other group was dressed very casually and was boisterously laughing and joking as they went through the grove. Watching the two groups it became obvious that one was having a very spiritual experience and the other was not.

From watching all of this I have come to realize that all my years of mothering a large family, got me in the bad habit of paying attention to what needed to be done instead of what was going on. Things like, “Where is this child?” and “What am I going to do next to keep them entertained?” and “I know one isn’t going to like such and such so what will I do?” and even just the immediate needs of wiping noses and changing diapers kept me from really being present to feel and experience the moment. I know those things need to be attended to, but if I had been more aware and prepared to experience rather than just endure, so many things would have been much better for me and for my children.

So when my mind starts thinking about what I’m supposed to be doing next and straying too much into thoughts of duties and work, I’m anchoring myself so that I don’t miss out on the amazing feeling that is here.


Kim said...

I love that you are sharing this experience with us. In October 2001 I had the opportunity, with my mom and sister) to go to Palmyra and experience these beautiful church history sites. My favorite was the Sacred Grove and the Palmyra Temple. While in the Sacred Grove I kneeled in a grove of trees and prayed. The spirit is undescribable. I will never forget that experience. I just wish now that I would have taken my scriptures and read the account Joseph Smith had in the grove. How powerful would that have been.

I just can't wait to get back there someday.

Wendi said...

There really is something powerful about staying grounded and anchoring in the present. Thanks for sharing this perspective. :)