Perhaps, if you are anything like me, you have some moments in which you are absent from the present because you are present to what is absent, already handling the next thing on your agenda instead of dwelling in the one precious amazing moment that is here right now before you. You have stepped out of the Land of Now and straight on into the Land of Next even as the present moment is tugging at your sleeve for some attention.
It happened to me again (for at least the gagillionth time) during Lauds this morning. I happened to be the one whose turn it was to lead our closing prayers. But as I got to the oh-so-familiar, no-notes-needed closing lines, I could not find the words because my mind had already moved on. I had left the Land of Now. I was in the Land of Next. A prompt from a Sister was required to bring me back to the present moment and the present words.
Today, the Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, is a good time to remember to be present to the precious and amazing moment that is the present moment. Somewhere, somehow, God is in this moment, a visitation from on High over which we can leap with joy, or which we can leap straight over with distraction, or ambition, or frustration, or anticipation, or whatever beckons us away from the place and time and person and task or no-task which is before us.
Whatever comes next will come soon enough. But for now, I pray I can be present to the Dawn from on High that shines upon me in this very moment.