Last night at dinner a good friend was sharing with us the concerns that some of the people in her life are hyper-conscious and alert about – that an end of the world is coming, the end of the world as we know it. All of the increasing disasters we are experiencing on our little planet have apparently been prophesied, and there is more to come. People who read up on this know a lot about it apparently, information coming from a variety of sources – everything from hard science to Marian apparitions. I have no judgment myself about this, about the truth or fable of it, about whether it is wise to spend time investigating it or whether to choose to not think about it. That is a very personal choice for every person.

Today, however, it has made me reflect upon how I spend my days and how I might spend them differently if I believed that my life and the world were to end very soon. Frankly, I think I would have chosen to spend my day differently. The plan for this day was chosen based upon concerns for tomorrow more than being perfectly in the moment. I would like to think I can bring these things together. It is a worthy meditation anyway.

What comes to my mind again is a quote I wrote about recently, which I want to correct now because I had it wrong. I thought it was by D.H. Lawrence, but it is instead from Henry Miller. The words are: “Think only what is right there, what is right under your nose to do. It’s such a simple thing–that is why people can’t do it.” I think about this so often.

So today I think, what is right under my nose? Is it bills sitting on my table reflecting bank account issues? House repairs? Holes bored in my screen door by carpenter bees? Yes, yes and yes. But what is actually closer to my nose than any of these is my heart. That organ is pretty much right under my nose.

If the world might end next week, or next month, or next year, am I attending to what my heart needs? This is the big question I believe. Rather than storing up beans and rice, which may also be a good idea, I think I would rather mostly think about this question.

Sometimes what our true hearts want is not what others in our life think it should want, or what convention thinks it should want, or what our mind thinks it should want. Listening deeply and intently to the heart is strong medicine and a warrior’s work. More than anything, this might be what is needed to get ready for the big one.

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