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Journey to Wholeness

What Delicious Moment is This?

By Jude LaClaire, Ph.D.




The inner and outer world tumbles from one thing to another, in sometimes chaotic ways. We experience the joys and sadness, the peace and war, the stormy and the sunny weather, the losses, and the nurturing connections. This is the changing landscape of our lives. How can we find some sense of groundedness and sanity?

I have been noticing how some moments catch my attention and give me some sense of joy and connection. The moment where the color of the trees seems particularly brilliant. The sun is warm and inviting. I hear the call of different birds. The word ‘delicious’ kept coming to mind as I experienced the sensory feast.

Last spring, while walking in a park near my home, I stopped to talk to the woman who was tending the small butterfly garden. I saw this strange bird with mottled coloring. I asked her if she knew what kind of bird it was. She said it was a piebald robin. She showed me a picture of it on her phone. Later, on looking it up, I found there are many piebald animals. In robins, it is about 1 in 30,000. I was in such wonder at seeing this amazing little bird.

About a month later, I saw what I thought was a hummingbird on our screened-in back porch. As it landed on the screen, I saw another one. It was not a bird but some sort of very large moth. After some searching, I identified it as a white-lined Sphinx moth. They are more common in the US, including the Midwest, however, I had never seen one. Now four of them were camped on our back porch. They were extraordinary, with unique markings, and had about a 2-3” wingspan. We helped them escape, finding freedom in the evening sky. In the spring, summer and, now fall, I kept going back to the word ‘delicious’ to describe these moments that I experienced. Rich delicious moments!

Fast forward to the annual writer’s conference at the Johnson County Library in November. I attended several workshops on poetry. I have only written poetry for my personal expression. I love to read poetry as it is often inspiring, helping me to experience life in a different part of my brain. These workshops reminded me, emotionally and viscerally, of the power of being in the sensory moment. I was reminded of Fritz Perl’s statement, “Lose your head and come to your senses.” The senses are the pathway to the self, our thoughts, feelings, our inner being.

Mary Oliver, in the poem, Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End, speaks of this. She says, There are things you can’t reach. But

                        You can reach out to them, and all day long…

                        I look; morning to night I am never done with looking…

                        And thinking; maybe something will come, some

                        shining coil of wind,

                        or a few leaves from any old tree-

                        they are all in this too.


Think about a recent experience or this moment. What do you see, hear, touch, taste, smell? Be with this, take it in. Where does it take you? Into time, space, your emotions, your thoughts and feelings? Allowing yourself to be present, with all of your senses, in any given moment, can help you change your perspective.


You may find a new sense of calmness and peace, maybe a different way of being with yourself, re-setting the day. In a global world that presents too much information/disinformation, with little true perspective, it is hard to be a caring, positive person. I have found, as perhaps you have, that it is the moment I live, here and now, that creates my life and changes the environment.


It is being in the moment that helps us look at the tougher, harder things. W.S. Merwin in his poem, Place, says:

            On the last day of the world

            I would plant a tree.


Another poem of hope amid destruction and death is Ars Poetica  by Claribel Alegria, a survivor of the war in El Salvador. She writes:

            I discover the sun

            each morning

            and amid valleys


            and debris of war

            I catch sight of the promised land.


I know you have had or are having experiences that take you into a dark space. This may be one way to find some way out, or in, to the more positive. I am going to ask you to consider taking some time each day as you look out the window, take a walk, look around your sensory environment, to take a moment to find the delicious aspect of this experience. Pay attention to your senses. Breathe, take a moment, be present, write about it. Let’s see if we can brighten our inner world by being in the moment and seeing hope.

Jude LaClaire, Ph. D., LCPC is a counselor and educator at the Heartland Holistic Health Center. She is the author of the “Life Weaving Education Curriculum” that teaches creative, effective, holistic problem solving. For counseling appointments, seminars, in-service training or speaker’s bureau, call 816-509-9277 or;

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