The Alter and the Moment


“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life.” Author unknown

I sit in the calmness of my personal alter.  I light my lavendar scented candle- I’m told that its essence is very calming.  I love the smell of it, so perhaps the media hype is correct on that score.  On top of the pastel colored alter are many pictures of past loves, artifacts of good memories,  my deceased family members with small mementos around them– the ball my dad and I played catch with, the fan my grandmother made me to keep me cool in the summer.  I miss them all, but having their totems is a comfort to me. I don’t live in the past, but at times these past memories soothe me and make me appreciate my present moment.

I’m moving my mind to warm breezes and radiant sunsets.  I’m transported to a high place and am looking down on creation.  I see the hawk swooping as he makes his target of a small mountain goat, the river below white from churning froth and fighting tides.  It’s quiet here other than  the hollow  sounds of the wind that rushes past and blows my hair from side to side.  I hear the whip of it, and feel the slap of it against my face. The sun is hot and is settled on my back.  I feel its heat as it radiates down my naked body.  The warmth of it cures my pain and takes it away to drift with the winds and sand below.

It smells dry in this place. My eyes move beside me and coming this way is another traveler.  He carries a back pack on him, and stumbles towards my place of sanctuary.

“Mind if I sit down for a spell?”  I’ve been traveling for hours and I’m quite weary.”

He sits before I can answer and takes off his backpack. The sound of it falling to the hard ground hurts my ears from its rough sound.  The dust rises from its fall.  He quickly opens his package and pulls out a thermos.

“Want some coffee?,” he asks.  I just shake my head and roll my eyes.

“Geeze, man.  Can’t you see I’m trying to get in some quiet time?  What’s your deal?’

He nods and wipes the sweat off his forehead with a dirty handkerchief.  He doesn’t say a word as he focuses on pouring his cup of coffee.  “Aw, good stuff.” he says as he ignores me.  “Sure you don’t want any?”

I shake my head, thank him and tell him “no, I’m a tea person.  Coffee is bad for the indigestion.”

He ignores that comment as well and again reaches inside the backpack.  He pulls out a notepad and a pen and starts writing.

“Hey, don’t think you are staying here to write your memoirs.  This is my space.”

“This is a big land- as big as the eye can see.  You chose this space for me.  I am  your present moment.  You put me here.  I did not come of my own freewill. Do what you will with me.  It is not for me to decide.”

Wow, a cold chill took over me.  I looked outside my window to the falling snow, and the sound of the harsh winter winds.  I looked at my alter, and there sitting next to my candle was a pen and cup of coffee.  I guess I better get to work and write.  This is my moment.

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2 thoughts on “The Alter and the Moment

  1. Oooh, this is really really nice, Cindy. Then I love the idea of our own space, our own purpose, our own time.

    Your altar sounds beautiful…of course, very personal to you. But that is how it should be. It is not about living in the past but honoring it.

    Blessings to you and your pen (one and the same thing?)

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