Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Last week you gave me a lovely one. We were sat on a stone on a mountain about 1200 meters above sea level having a short break when a herd of reindeer ran across the moss below us. The wind was still, the sun was shining through a thin sheet of cloud and the only noise we could hear was the trampling of hoofs. It was one of those moments when you can't help but smile and you don't want it to end because experiencing it makes you feel peaceful, alive and happy. Then a group of walkers appeared over the hill, the reindeer ran out of sight and it wasn't quite as quiet any longer. We carried on with our walk, which was a beautiful one, and the day went on.
I have a tendency to savour moments just a little too long, and in that way spoil them. This is clearest when there are drinks involved. Whether it's beer, wine, tea or coffee, I tend to leave the last sip past the point of enjoyment. The beer will go flat, a crisp white wine will go warm and the coffee will go cold and bitter. I so desperately want to cling to the moment that I extend it to the point where it loses its magical moment-ness.
The nature of a conversation, as well as a moment, is that it's fleeting. It's temporary and it passes just as time does. Some are longer than others, some are deeper than others, some get to the point where your bladder warns you its about to burst before you stop and just like the aforementioned drinks, I cling to a good conversation. They often walk hand in hand with drinks, so it isn't all that surprising that I drag them both out too long, a little too often. (Thank you to anyone reading this who puts up with my rambling!)
Social media (well I suppose photography, but social media by extension) has given us the ability to capture moments. I suppose poetry had the ability to do this before, and to some extent drawing and painting, but not quite in the way that Snap Chat and Instagram do now. We can film them, photograph them and share them instantly. Of course this steals us away from them and poses a question around how engrossed in the experience we are able to be with our smartphones blocking our view. There is a beautiful side to Social Media that is often overshadowed by its ugly counterpart; the sharing side of it, the connecting side of it, the community of it. I'm able to see what my family are doing every day despite living in a different country and that is such a wonderful thing.
We carry on capturing and sharing regardless of what it takes away from the experience, but once in a while I'd like to think I can just savour the moment for what it is, live in it as it's happening and not worry about showing it to everyone else. Enjoy it with whomever I'm with, even when that's just me. Sharing can be beautiful, but it has a self-destructive underbelly. It has a way of tearing us out of the picture we're in. I'd like to think that I can savour these moments while accepting that they pass. Respect them for what they are and finish the drink while it's still enjoyable. As has been said so many times before, life is made up of moments, so I'd like to live mine as it's happening instead of hitting pause, rewind and repeat all the time.
Dear moments, thank you for teaching me the value of change and the importance of your fleeting nature. And thank you for letting me enjoy you while you last. Maybe I'll snap a photo to share how lovely you are with my family and friends and I might revisit you in photos, but I'll try to be better at being present for what comes next, after you've gone.