Life flies past so quickly, doesn’t it?
I reflect on what I remember:
It’s nearly a year since the Brexit referendum.
It’s five years since London hosted a dazzling Olympic Games.
It’s eleven years since my first wonderful grand-daughter was born.
It’s seventeen years since we celebrated the millennium with fireworks and apprehension about whether all our computers would crash.
It’s forty-two years since I married Daphne, and forty-one since the birth of our first beloved daughter.
It’s forty-eight years since mankind took the giant step of sending a man to land on the moon for the very first time.
It’s sixty years since the Russians launched Sputnik 1, and a new era of exploration began.
The personal; the newsworthy; the significant; the trivial; they’re all there in my memory, and none of them really feel a long time ago – ok, well maybe Sputnik, although the memory is clear enough!
What a rush!
We can, though, slow down our perception of time if we practise living in the moment. We pay mindful attention to what we are experiencing as we experience it, and time slows for us. In particular, we pay attention to our feelings, nurturing the positive, and gently looking to let go of the negative. We have time to appreciate, time to enjoy; time to say “I love you” to those closest to us; time to fully enjoy their presence with us. Our time is both slower and richer.
I sometimes find that cooking helps me reach a state of mindfulness. It’s an activity where you have to focus on what you’re doing, and be alert to what’s happening. You pay attention to the appearance of the ingredients, and to their smell and to their taste. It’s a small step from there to being fully ‘in the moment’ and appreciating with your whole attention who you are and what you are living. I wrote a brief poem about this.
Season to Taste
I taste and season, stir and cover,
Chop potatoes, pepper, beans,
Making a meal, family-making,
Making pleasure, making love.
Not too salty, fine-chopped onion,
Taste and season, stir and cover.
Flavour contrast, savoury and sweet,
Unlikely partners, no meat,
Celery and chili (discreet).
Taste and season, stir and plate,
Food for my family – come and eat!