Hanging On To The Moment Once It Has Passed

September 2nd, 2011

The light created patterns in the valley through the fog as it reached over the treetops and the air filled with the dampness of earth and the presence of horses.  The mare’s deep, resonate neighing played among the trees as the horse made its way from the pasture, up the hill and to the stable.

The challenge: how to hang on to the moment once it has passed.  And perhaps more importantly, how to recognize the moment when it is there.

Because the truth is, when these moments occur we are too occupied to see them as they are. For instance, when this moment occurred, I was walking in the opposite direction, getting ready to do “the next thing.”  I easily could have kept walking.  And yet, I found a way to be…just “be.”

How did I find it?

Well, I realized that “the next thing” would still be there, though a few minutes later; and I wouldn’t lose anything by taking the moment – and I’d gain something precious.

The way the light existed in that space at that moment, I realized if I didn’t stop to SEE it, then and there, the sun would continue to rise, the fog would dissipate and that image would never be the same again.  So I paused, turned and took it in.  I took out my camera.  I shot half a dozen pictures.  The image I included with this blog, my favorite, was the last one I shot.  Now it’s yours.

And part of my secret to hanging on to the moment is the simple trick of this writing – by sharing it with someone else, you, I’ve highlighted the moment for me, drawn out the rich complexity of it and enriched the details to make them even more intense.  Thanks for letting me “use” you this way.

I know, as the summer winds down and we get our kids back to school, that things get pretty intense and time seems to fly away from us.  And I know that with the (too) often-times intense-nature of our children, it seems that these moments (like I’ve described) never exist.

They do.

And that’s the challenge: to find one thing as often as possible (each day/week?), SEE it and “be” with it.

Maybe you can find the moment by seeing the pile of dirty dishes… and walking away to step outside and feel the sun’s warmth on your arm and face; really FEELING it.  Then try remembering the delight of a summer day from your childhood.

Maybe it’s searching for, and finding the one tiny, positive thing your kid or spouse does today that is normally so hard to observe.  Because if we search for it, the odds are we’ll find it and SEE it.

Then, capture the moment in your mind, or with your phone, in a drawing or verse.  Describe it in great detail.  Emphasize the memory with all five senses so it sinks in. Break it down into its complex details.

Then share it with a friend.