This last weekend Christine and I were walking through the neighborhood, taking advantage of the Spring-like weather. This is an area of stately 100-year-old homes with towering oak trees. Periodically one encounters sections of sidewalk thrust out of level by massive subterranean tree roots. Ahead of us we saw a young mother with her 3 “little people” in tow. One of the children, perhaps 5, pushed an empty stroller that was likely intended for the 3-year-old who waddled along. The three children appeared to be stair steps in age. I estimated the middle child to be 4. Suddenly, the youngest stopped and squatted. Giving full attention to the bare black earth at the side of the walkway. He reached out and pointing, calling “Look!”. We were in time to see that the child had spied the earliest signs of sprouting flowers beginning to emerge from their Winter sleep. The siblings and mom were quickly engaged in the examination of Nature’s wonder.
The child lived in the moment. He saw, examined, marveled, and smiled. In turn, he caused his Mother and siblings to bring their focus to that moment, also examining, marveling and finally smiling. We stopped and smiled. Perhaps you are now smiling.
As children make their passage into adulthood they lose the gift of living in the moment… the skill of just being present. We who were once children spend most of our time distracted by our work, bills, goals, successes, and failures. We are slaves to the electronic devices that tear us from where we are, casting our minds into “the cloud”, the land of Google, and other far flung places. It is ironic that “smart-phone apps” obsessively want to know our location as they distract us from being there.
Being in the moment provides the kind of rich satisfying happiness that young children experience… happiness that is infectious. The distractions of adulthood are barriers that prevent us from seeing, examining, marveling, and smiling at the simple things that exist all around us. I have come to believe that everyday miracles exist. They just go unnoticed by all except the children.
Peace Everyone! Pete