She was bending down to play with a furry caterpillar. She wanted it to climb on her. It kept turning away as she carefully maneuvered to try to coerce it to climb onto her tiny finger. Her mother told her to “leave it alone”…”hurry up”… “gross, just stop”. The little girl stood up and continued on the path to a breakfast table with her mom. I couldn’t stop thinking about that frozen moment in time. I often think that we are affected by all the events that happen in our daily lives…not just the big ones…but all of the millions of tiny little ones that often go unnoticed. The smile from a stranger that could make your day a little brighter… the perfect sunset to end your day… the giggle of a child to make your heart happy… a fresh cup of hot coffee on a cold morning… a text from a loved one… a new song…. that perfect soft spot on the couch…. They are everywhere. Perfect moments in time. Tiny little slices of the day that changes your outlook or mood. We are always racing to the big finish…the whole enchilada…the crowd roaring events… the perfect Instagram picture posts…the greatest Facebook updates…. and missing the other pieces of the puzzle. We all do it! I’m guilty a thousand times over. I have rushed a child or two in my time to get to where I needed to be. I’ve lived an event or two through the lens of my iPhone to capture a moment in time to share with the masses. Damn it, sometimes I even get more than 60 LIKES on some of them. Where do I pick up my award? ….oh, there isn’t one? (insert sad face emoji). I saw the Pope on tv. He was doing mass recently here in the US. Thousands upon thousands of people came to worship with His Holiness…… and there they were in prayer with the official Pope…with their iPhones recording all of it…arms not lifted in prayer, but lifted so their camera could be higher than the next person’s. I remember thinking A) omg awesome Instagram pic with the freakin Pope, B) Is anyone actually watching the Pope?... I began to pan the TV screen to find a person who wasn’t filming but actually listening… Pope version of Where’s Waldo…. I FOUND SOME! Not many…but some! Living in the moment… taking it all in… When did we stop doing this? This thing we call ‘living in the moment’? I want to stop and smell the roses, but I can’t if it’s an Instagram pic. Lauren Oliver, in Before I Fall, said that “the details that are life's special pattern, like how in handwoven rugs what really makes them unique are the tiny flaws in the stitching, little gaps and jumps and stutters that can never be reproduced. so many things become beautiful when you really look.” I understand the hustle and bustle of life. I know there are piles of laundry to be finished and homework deadlines and grocery lists and dirty gutters and emails to be sent and dinners to be made and dog poop piling up in the yard and only 24 hours in a day. Yup, get it! Totally get it! But don’t you DARE rush past the little things…. Stop once a day ATLEAST and watch a hummingbird… skip a stone… watch a cloud… smell a flower… find one teenie tiny thing that slows you down and refocuses your outlook on your beautiful and healthy life that you are so so so lucky to have… here and now…without filters or hashtags…. And whatever you do NEVER stop a child from getting that caterpillar on her finger. Namaste!
- ► 2011 (11)