Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Into the moment....

On Sunday, I went to the Jazz Brunch by the water in Fort Lauderdale. I had posted this on Facebook nearly a month ago, so it was on my calendar and well planned. On Sunday at just after 9 a.m., we were there, sitting in a beautiful spot under a tree, right by the water, watching boats going by, talking, relaxing, waiting for the music. All part of the plan.

The music started, we sat back and listened and started on our picnic brunch. Peaches so juicy it took two or three napkins each to deal with sticky hands and juice-soaked chins. Cheeses. French bread. Nuts and dried fruit. Yogurt. Ice-cold bottles of water. A good book at hand. Music. A breeze. What more could we want?

Then a friend came by with some friends of his. Would we like to join them for lunch? We had our lunch with us -- had been eating. So why would we go? But then they said, just come for drinks...and why not? A few minutes out of the sun. A few minutes away from our plans. No problem. So we went. And we sipped iced tea and other cool drinks. And we talked. And the friends of the friend went from strangers to people we connected with. A couple that lives just down the street from me. Another who graduated from the same university. People with common interests and goals. Families with kids at home or at college who shared birth years or majors.

The guise of strangers fell away as connections were added to connections. The few minutes planned stretched into an hour.

"Do you want to go out on the boat with us?"

For a brief moment, the thought crossed my mind...what about the jazz? The plans? But the offer of a sunny afternoon on the water quickly won out. We walked back to our space under that shady tree and packed up books and brunch and blankets and headed for the boat.

On-board, the one hour sail tuned into 3 or more. Strangers no more, I chatted with women and men who I had never met before that afternoon -- how could it be? They felt like friends! What a treat this day had become!

In the middle of the fun and laughs and great conversations, I stepped back from the moment and thought about the day. It had begun amid plans. Good plans. But the offer of new directions and new friends had drawn us away from those plans and into the unexpected.

And I realized that this wonderful day held a great message for my life.

I had planned. Prepared. I had the things I needed for the day at hand. I had direction. But I also accepted the offer of positive change, and shifted plans to accommodate the new opportunities. Easy to do when the choices are among jazz by the water, lunch and an afternoon on the water. Now the trick will be to remember that lesson in life when the choices aren't quite so delightful.

Prepare to change.

Working on it!

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