At the beginning of last year, I attended a meditation class on Sydney’s North Shore run by a warm and infinitely wise teacher called Margaret. Our homework for week one was to notice and appreciate “soul moments” every day, as many times as we could – moments of beauty and wonder, big or small.
Since then, I have looked at a lot of sunsets. I mean really, really looked. And I have ordered the entire family to stop what they are doing and join me. I have started turning off the TV during thunderstorms in order to sit and gaze out the window at the lightning until the storm passes. Once I even pulled the car over to the side of the road and forced everyone to get out and look at the rise of a full, golden moon. And I have stared in wonder at the beautiful sleeping faces of my children, just a little more often (they really are a delight when they’re asleep).
In the every day rush of life and especially in my oft felt frustration of being a parent to some rather wilful children, it is easy to forget to notice these moments.
But if I remember to look, I see them everywhere – the uncontrollable belly laugh of our almost three year old daughter who amuses herself beyond her own (or anyone else’s) comprehension, the reflection of the sun as it glistens on the bottom of the pool and fades away elusively as I swim towards it, the gentle deference of an ageing beagle who lies quietly on his back so his baby brother can tickle his belly…
This morning, when I took our 14 month old son to day care for the very first time, I started crying before he did. It seems (embarrassingly) that I am becoming less able to contain my emotions over time. When I dropped my eldest daughter off at day care over five years ago, I cried when I got back into the car. This time, I cried as soon as I opened the door to the nursery room.
Despite this, I’ve had an amazing day – swimming laps at the local pool, writing this blog post while sipping coffee at a local café, eating a haloumi salad that was to die for. My day has been delightfully decadent… But the lump in my throat remains.
I am not worried about my little man – he’ll be fine.
I think I am simply in awe of the sheer speed with which time seems to go by. Sometimes I wish I could grab onto moments in time and cuddle them, hold them safe. But instead I will take my meditation teacher’s advice and endeavour to simply notice the “soul moments” in my every day. Not clutch them greedily and hold them tight, but let them flow warmly over me and be on their way.
That said, I’m off to collect my little guy and I will be clutching him greedily and holding him tight for as long as he lets me…