For no other reason than I seem to have had a plethora of them this week, I’m going to offer up small moments of great beauty or poignancy, which I took time to appreciate this week. I think in the grander scheme of things, we’re all so busy rushing around trying to get everything done (I know *I* am, at any rate – I won’t tar everyone with the same brush) we often forget to stop and absorb the moment, finding something within it to give thanks for – making the time to be present.
I read today in a book, that a life spent rushing is for amateurs, and in a way I can agree with that – we always have time, because we only have NOW, and we only really have NOW if we pay attention to it, immerse ourselves in it, experience it. Otherwise life is so much a string of wasted Nows, slipped through our fingers like kite-strings in a hurricane, as our eyes and hearts cloud with the *stuff* of the everyday – what hasn’t happened yet but needed to; what is still to come; what’s the priority to manage; how do we juggle all the things at once…life can only be lived one moment at a time, and we only have one life (and without wishing to sound maudlin, but members of my family were at a funeral today, so it’s on my mind) – and who knows how long we have to live it?! We may as well make the most of it.
Use it, or lose it, as they say.
A moment sat in the gloaming, looking out of the window at the quiet street, with a plate of tomatoes on toast – and taking the time to savour every mouthful of crisp, seed-filled toast, juicy tomato slices stacked atop it, and drizzled with a bright coat of golden, sun-distilled olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, dark and tangy and sweet, and dusted with ground black pepper…the spice and fresh and pungent and deep, earthy flavours delighting me at every mouthful.
A moment cycling home, breath puffing out steam against the freezing cold, past ice still on the ground from morning, the world bathed in bright and glorious sunset, silhouetting the bare tree branches against the skies and casting shadows which stretched away behind my tyres, towards night.
A moment late at night, turning over to find Neff had slithered his way across the bed and was nestled, close-but-not-touching, breathing soft, snuffly (slightly garlicky) sleep-breaths towards me, harmonising with the quieter, lighter sleep-breaths from Niece in the top bunk, and thinking how lucky I am to have such wonderful children to fill the room (and my life) with their loveliness.
A moment hanging washing, feeling the chill damp cotton against my fingers and snaking around my wrists as I tried to make the garments acquiesce into straight lines to hang dry, knowing that they will dry soon, and I will have clean clothes. That I have the means for clean clothes. That I have clothes…
A moment hearing on the radio about another boat full of refugees breaking and sinking in the Mediterranean sea, with over half the passengers children, and offering up a prayer of not-sure-what, because it’s so, SO awful to know people’s lives are still so desperate, and at the same time feeling immeasurably thankful my life is not, and my family and loved ones are safe.
A moment sliding in between clean sheets with a hot water bottle already at the place where my feet would go, creating a pocket of delicious toasty-warmness, and snuggling right into it, feeling the heat creep slowly along my chill flesh, thawing my knees, then calves, then ankles, and finally toes, before hooking the hot water bottle up to snuggle it as I drifted off to sleep, warm, content, comfortable.
A moment of elation, walking in the darkness, knowing that all the packing had been done, and almost all the things were moved to where they needed to be, and would stay, and being nearly-so-close-but-not-quite-entirely-there of the way to being 100% moved out, and in, and onwards.
A moment in the pre-dawn, having turned off my alarm and looked at my phone, to find the messages I’ve now come to anticipate each morning, from cherished friends – the first voices I hear each morning when I wake up, snuggling back down into the duvet with the phone to my ear, and hearing about how their evenings were, what some of the last thoughts on their mind were, before life and their own nighttime routines took over. Appreciating the chance to send back sleep-befuzzled messages of greeting for their mornings, later, when they awoke and plugged in.
A moment of excitement and frustrating sticky-tape and battling with scissors and baffling cardboard to undo a parcel sent to me by a friend who knows me so well, each item, perfectly chosen for me, and absolutely right, brought a huge grin to my face, and my heart fair overflowed with happiness and delight at being thought of and cared about.
A moment, or, several moments, or continued moments, when I sit in the peace and quiet and warmth of the family home, and know I am home, and voice thanks, and am met with continued affirmations of being wanted, of it being delightful I’m here, of being loved.
And there, in those small moments, of paying attention and giving thanks, is perhaps the secret to all life.
Your turn – what have you been thankful for this week? Comment or write your own post, but DO join in 🙂