You are currently viewing Ray of Light

Ray of Light

Ray of Light
An Experience of Living in the Moment
August, 2000

Having begun a new job as a speaker at a local nursing home, I arrived early to set up my presentation. The assigned room was spacious, with two doors opened onto the main hallway. Every so often, I would hear a loud buzzing sound and hear someone say, “I’ll get him!” I figured they must have some of the dementia clients set up with a monitor to let them know if they left the building.

Taking only a few minutes to arrange the seating and sort my notes, I had thirty minutes to wait. I sat quietly, facing the open doors and focused on calming my nerves. Today’s presentation was the first of a series of thirteen to teach the elderly residents about aging. At 45, I felt unsuited for the job. What credibility did I have other than a paper stating I was certified to teach children? As the minutes passed, my anxiety grew. Watching the activity in the hall helped to keep me distracted.

How relieved I was when an elderly gentleman entered the room. He introduced himself as Ray. He had noticed me sitting alone and asked if he could keep me company. I gladly welcomed him to sit beside me. Recognizing his name from the list of people who had signed up for the class, I assumed he knew my purpose for being there.

Ray was not a man of many words. He seemed happy simply to sit next to me in silence. Although I believe that “Silence is Golden,” that was not a rule that talkative me was comfortable with. I made several attempts at conversation. I asked Ray how long he had lived here. He smiled sweetly and said he didn’t really know.


There were several people bustling in the hallway, phones ringing incessantly and constant messages over the loudspeaker. Ray commented, “Everyone seems so busy.” I agreed.


I noticed that across the hall was a beauty salon. I mentioned how wonderful it was that they had this service on site. Ray agreed. Silence.

I asked Ray if he got his hair cut there. He said, “I don’t think so.”


As we sat there, I noticed there was another room across the hall, with people going in and out. I asked Ray what kind of service was provided in that room. With a knowing grin, he replied, “I don’t know.”


Digging hard to strike up some conversation, I said, “I like your sneakers. They look new.” Ray studied his feet and with a wide grin, he said, “They sure look new.”

This man was beginning to intrigue me. He had the warmest smile and deep, knowing eyes. I was wondering how I could get him to open up and share some of his wisdom, without me prying into his private affairs. Just then, he stood up, stretched and walked to the window. He remarked how long the adjacent building was. Hoping this would be an opening to some meaningful conversation, I joined him at the window.

I was surprised to realize that the building he was pointing to was actually another wing of the living facility. He should know that if he’s lived here for any length of time. Once again, I asked him, “How long have you lived here?” Again, he smiled and said he didn’t know. I prompted him further. A week? A month? A year or more? Ray simply didn’t know and curiously to me, it didn’t seem important to him.

My suspicions aroused, I used my past training as a nurse’s assistant to test my theory. I asked Ray how old he was. I questioned him about today’s date, the day of the week, the month, the year. Ray could not answer any of these questions. He seemed amused that time was of such importance to me.

Again, I drew attention to his spotless sneakers and asked if they were new. He studied them a few moments, as though he had never seen them before. He looked up at me with a mischievous smile and stated, “They sure look new.”

I realized that Ray was an answer to my recent prayer. I had recently been musing over a term that others have stated and from my metaphysical studies. “Live in the moment.” I had been pondering what was the deeper meaning they were referring to? I realized that my Guides had sent me the perfect role model to shine light on the subject.

Recognizing that Ray had a memory disorder, I observed him more closely. Every moment was new. There were no encumbrances of past memories, no judgments being made, no choices being formulated. Ray’s brilliant blue eyes reflected a man living with no time constraints, no worries. He simply lived each moment, with joy.

Since that moment, when I start to worry about time constraints, financial concerns or any of a myriad of “what ifs,” I reflect back onto Ray. Taking a deep breath, I realize I have everything I need right here, right now, in this moment. I refocus on gratitude for what I do have. Remembering his sparkling eyes and impish smile, I smile and am filled with joy and inner peace.


What are your thoughts on this post?