A wise turtle once said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Yes, that was Oogwa from "Kung Fu Panda." It may be a kid’s movie, but Oogwa’s wisdom transcends time and applies to all of us.

Today is a gift. In a culture forever obsessed with reminiscing about yesterday and scrambling to fill tomorrow’s schedule, the idea of being fully in the present is an odd one. So much of life passes us by as we spend our days yearning after the future and longing for the past.

It is, however, a rewarding idea when implemented.

When we treasure the beauty of what is in front of us, the petty things we get frustrated at fade into insignificance. We notice things like the way the sunlight filters through the tree leaves, the way the wind makes the curtains dance languidly, and the way our loved ones smell right out of the shower. These aren’t things that belong on a Facebook status or an Instagram post. They are sacred and secret, mundane moments passing by with no promise of ever returning. That is why we must hold on tight to the present and the mystery of now, when time and space align.

When we treat each day as a gift, not only do we notice those little things, but we cherish them because we understand that life is fleeting and it’s those little, insignificant moments that make up the majority of it. We cling to them as they are in front of us and we release them as they drift on to the past.

The past held a great deal of memories and the future will hold even more, but for now, let’s savor the most beautiful present.