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By Trish Patrick in All Sorts
reflections on the importance of the being truly present to the moment and to those we are with.Carpe Deim
'Time is like a river flowing endlessly through the Universe, it seems as if each of us is carried relentlessly along by time's current. But time is like a river in another way. It flows at different speeds in different places....' posits the late Stephen Hawking.
A river as it tumbles and roars through a gorge or ravine flows fast, but as the course of the river broadens, the flow slows down considerably and the nature of the river appears placid and steady.
I'm intrigued how perception of time alters as I grow older. As a child, time seemed to pass oh so slowly, especially term time, yet once the holidays started, time seemed to pass at break-neck speed and holidays were over in a flash. And as for a whole year! Well....that seemed like an eternity.
Oh my! How things have changed. Now, days and weeks race by and I'm always trying to catch my metaphorical breath as the river of time flows, gaining momentum as the years go by.
Time is such a precious commodity. We talk about 'spending' time which suggests we value it as much as we value money. In fact business leaders claim 'time is money'.
But do we truly value it as much as we think we do?
I'm intrigued with the concept of 'creating memories'. This involves doing activities, going to events, creating experiences etc which maybe recalled at some future time and relived. It's a lovely idea enriching your life and the lives of others. Yet I have a niggling thought that this has the potential to rob one of being spontaneous and present to the moment. If one watches a live outdoor concert, event or party, everone is uber preocupied taking photos and videos on their phones. But are they missing out on the special gift of the moment? On being truly present. Those moments in time, although recorded for posterity, have been all but lost in real time to the digitalization for a future where the recorded memory may itself be forgotten or lost during some device update.
Once upon a time, in the predigitalization age, I was in a cafe having a cup of tea, feeling somewhat distracted as I mulled over a work dilemma. My mulling was terminated by the conversation of two women sitting a few tables away. One of the couple was talking very loudly, describing an event she had enjoyed immensely. Her companion, although clearly aware it was inappropriately loud, gave the woman her undivided careful attention, responding with genuine interest albeit at a much lower volume! A running commentary on the deliciousness of the food was shared at volume for all to hear. This person, intellectually challenged, possessed the gift of being present to the moment, entering into the joy of it fully, savouring every moment and morsel, her companion sharing in her delight and in an unpatronising way, was genuinely present to her friend.
It was a gift of grace which lent holiness to that space, inviting me to reflect on the importance
of the being truly present to the moment and to those I am with.
I dont have any photos to remind me of that grace filled event, nor did I need to orchestrate it.
It was happenstance. The simplicity of that experience and the significance of living in the 'here and now' a timely reminder of the phrase from the Roman poet Horace...'Carpe Diem'...seize the day. Because it's all we have.
Matthew 6: 27-8 .who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
That's not to say we shouldn't be mindful of the future and the past. It suggests we need not obsessively worry....often easier said than done! The Serenity prayer expresses it well...
'Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.'