You never know when it will wash over, under or around you…that delicious swell of feeling like you are at the center of your own universe. I recall leaving the house one fall day in my early twenties, driving away through a palate of golds and reds, to run some errands. Suddenly, there it was: the feeling of being at the epicenter of my life for no definable or particular reason. It must have been the first time as the vibrancy of those few seconds still visits me after forty years.

More recently, I was sitting in the audience for my grandson’s school musical. We were being treated to a prelude by the fifth and sixth grade band (or is it “praylude”?).  I was sitting by my son who was feeding his seven-month old babe. To my other side, my granddaughter squirmed with anticipation on her mother’s lap. The bright, uneven music was achingly reminiscent of concerts gone by--when the man beside me was a boy intently, if not enthusiastically, playing his flute. And suddenly, that almost uncontainable wave welled up inside me, cradling me right there in the center of my universe…the feeling that there is absolutely nowhere else to be.

I wonder if it’s a feeling that can be cultivated…

A couple of days ago, I was lying on my granddaughter’s bed, laughing and talking about belly buttons. As she set forth her own explanation of “innies” and “outies” with the kind of glee reserved for five-year-old girls, I absorbed her presence so keenly, so completely, that for an instant, she was all that existed.

The Universe has offered me a miraculous gift going back thirty years: wherever I live, there is a towering, magnificent tree out the window. Sitting now in my sweet rented condo, my upstairs sliding glass doors are filled with huge, leafy hands—the upper part of a two-story tree so close I can touch it from my deck. Many days, as my eyes drift from my computer, this bark and green bouquet is presented to me anew, as if it had just been delivered. And when I stop and connect its life to mine, I inadvertently sigh and everything else falls away.

Sometimes I wake up in the night, extricating myself from a hot dream lover or too-hot covers—or both. But once in awhile, I awake simply remembering I am me, and instead of reaching for the next embrace of sleep, let myself be held, just for a moment, by my own life—as if it’s the dearest friend I’ll ever know.

I’m beginning to see that there are moments when we can linger just long enough to feel the pulse of our own universe and find ourselves at its heartbeat. Maybe it’s just another way of “being present.” Or perhaps the more present we are, the more available this experience becomes. I only know that for me, there is no other quite like it.

When have you experienced being at the center or your own universe?

Together on the Evolving Journey,