All of us tend to value our ‘big’ moments, the moments when we are doing something that we consider important. But the little moments, the ones that we consider non-important, are often bypassed or are used as means to get to the big moments.
The first time I experienced this, I was living in the countryside and I needed to go by car to an office. The parking lot was about 50 meters from the office, so I parked there. I got out of my car and since I was a bit late, I ran to the office. Just before getting there, I suddenly stopped, looked back, and was amazed by two things I saw. The first thing I saw was what a beautiful day it was! It was a wonderful, quiet, clear spring day; the area was full of trees and the mountains were still with snow on their peaks. There was a sweet smell of earth…
The second thing I saw—I realised—was that ‘my life’ between my car and the place where I was standing now was as if swallowed by a black hole…it did not exist. It was as if i had closed my eyes when I exited my car and then I had opened them again in that moment. And those 40 seconds or so that took me to reach the office had completely vanished, as if they have never come into existence.
I was so touched by that ‘seeing’ that even though I was late for my appointment I went back to the car and in very slow motion I walked back to the office but with attention, with awareness, enjoying every second of it. It was a beautiful—apparently useless—but fantastic little moment that I still remember now even though more than 20 years have passed.
I have heard several times about testimonies from people that are going to die, that the things that they remember are not what we will call now the BIG moments, but what they remember, what they value in those last moments are only the ‘apparently’ very small moments, the very simple moments they shared with people they love, a little thing that they saw or smelt, a little thing that they experienced, the simplest of moments.
Society pushes us into living in this imaginary world of doing, doing, doing, of going somewhere, of trying to arrive to a better place in the future…And because we are so busy trying to arrive to this imaginary place, we very rarely experience the small moments of our life. And the funny—and sad—thing is that 90% of our lives are composed of those small moments we don’t value. Those small moments, the main source of our life, are used like a means to something else, like a trampoline to jump to the next moment…. And like this our life evaporates.
I see it very often when people have a moment free with nothing in particular to do, like moments we are waiting for something. The first thing we do is to take our smart phones and start doing something with it; or we start talking to somebody else or if there is nobody to talk to we start to talk to ourselves in our head. Of course there is nothing wrong with talking, if we have actually something to say, but most of the time we only talk as a way to pass the moment, to avoid the moment. And why? Simply because it’s very hard for us to just be, to just experience the moment without having to be entertained by something.
When we open or close a door; when we walk from one place to another; when we drink a glass of water; when we dress up in the morning; when we brush our teeth; when we tie our shoes; when we go grocery shopping; when we take the clothes out of the washing machine; when we have lunch; when we fasten the buttons of our jacket; when we wash the dishes; when we take out the garbage; when we enter data in the computer; when we do whatever we do all day long, all week long, all year long. Every little moment, this moment right now, is precious. These small moments are our life!
There is something very wonderful about simply being. In the very very very simple moments, when nothing is apparently happening, just to be….I say apparently because there is actually something quite special happening: life. We are alive, everything around us is alive and to see, to experience, to be aware of this life is what unknowingly we are all looking for. That thing we believe we want to get in the future, that big moment when I will finally feel at ease with myself, that moment that is apparently over there…is right here, right now, staring, whispering, calling us right in front of our face.
It is this simple unpretentious moment, right here, right now.