“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

― Eckhart Tolle

You arrive at the steps of a large, two-story house covered in old vines and built from stone.  The shutters are a charcoal gray and are begging for a fresh coat of paint.  However, the lawn and hedges surrounding the house are well manicured.  As you ascend the worn slabs of concrete that lead up to the door you start to wonder why you’re here.  As if by some kind of perfectly timed director’s cue, the massive walnut door of the entrance starts to open.  Out from behind the large door steps a woman with wavy, dark auburn hair, dark brown eyes, pale skin, and a warm smile.

“Greetings, friend!  You must be exhausted from your long journey.  Please, come in.”

Following your mystery hostess, you’re led to a dining hall with a steadily crackling fire in a stone fireplace along the far wall.  A long, sturdy oak table is the centerpiece of the room.  The table is set for a dozen or so guests with fine china and crystal goblets and displays a striking spread of fresh fruits, fancy cheeses, and rustic looking loaves of bread.  A silver wine bucket sits sweating on its stand.  In the chilly container rests an open bottle of something presumably bubbly.  You also notice an ornate grandfather clock in the corner of the room.  While its pendulum is ticking away in perfect rhythm, the hands appear to be stuck pointed downward.  “Must be broken,” you think to yourself.  You stare at the timepiece, puzzled.

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” she laughs.  “It’s been like that forever!  I hardly even notice it anymore.”  She gestures for you to have a seat at the table and waits for you to sit down.  “Would you care for some champagne?”

At this point you’re more than ready to warm up and relax.  You nod.  As she pours the sparkling liquid into your glass she gracefully starts her introduction.

“I thought about bringing out the champagne flutes, but these goblets are just too stunning to let sit unused, don’t you think?  I hate waiting for the perfect occasion to use anything..

“Anyway, my name is MizuBara.  I want to thank you for joining me.  I know how important your time is to you, and I really appreciate you spending some of it here.  You’re welcome to stay as long as you like.  Please make yourself at home.”  She continues, “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d love to share some of my experiences with you.”

The fire gently warms you, as you sip your champagne and enjoy the fare before you.  For a moment, you forget what brought you here and just relax.  For a moment – yes, this moment.  The ticking of the grandfather clock.  Every moment.  It’s all starting to make sense.