The value of a moment is found in capturing it, and letting it become a memory that brings you happiness at another time. – RW
It’s cold this morning. I’m sitting on the deck bundled in a winter jacket and wearing a knit hat that keeps my ears and shaven head warm. The sun is peeking through some clouds periodically. At one moment it’s brilliant and I can feel its warmth, but a cloud snuffs it out, the cold returns and the landscape takes on a gray winter appearance. The coffeecup is warm and the steam rises from my coffee, but the keys on the laptop have taken on the coldness of the winter landscape. Bird calls fill the air, but not one can be seen. Ironically the only living thing moving about is a feral cat, moving quietly through some tall grasses hoping to find one of those birds. I sense a chill and shiver for a moment. I know it is time to head back, but I think I will stay here for a few more minutes because I’ve captured the moment, and I want to enjoy it a little longer.
Recently I’ve found myself discovering more of these moments. Last week I pulled to the side of the road and watched as eight deer emerged from the woods and climbed out of a valley only to cross the car not 10 feet in front of me. They each looked me in the eye as if to say, “What are you looking at?” This past Wednesday two squirrels were feverishly working to unearth some acorns as the first snow of the season began to cover the ground. Interestingly, what I was watching for pleasure and amusement was a life and death situation for them.
Some might refer to these experiences as mindful moments; they’re not! A mindful moment is the purposeful focus of your attention on the present moment. It is more oriented with sensations such as how the air smells and feels as you walk in the woods, or how a bite of bread tastes with dinner. “Capturing the moment” is the preservation of a specific moment in time. While the capture is often accomplished through a photograph or video, it is even more powerful when it is captured through our mind and actions, thus enabling us to make it a part of us.
In his book, The Unexpected Universe, author Loren Eiseley shares the story of a young man who tries to save Starfish by throwing them back into the ocean. He identifies the young man’s purposeful actions as participatory, writing, “What the young man was doing was choosing not to be an observer in the universe and watch it pass by, but choosing to be an actor in the universe and make a difference.” There are times we must all be actors, but equally important there are times we can simply observe and capture the moment.
In the time I have left, I plan to capture as many moments as I can, because it is those moments that will make me smile in my final years. They will certainly include moments with Shirlee, Chad, Laura and the Wolfpups, and moments with others who bring happiness to my life. But there will also be those solitary moments; sitting in the empty church sanctuary on a Tuesday afternoon, walking the golf course late in the day or simply enjoying a winter sunset as I sit at the water’s edge. These will be moments I capture, not with a picture or a video, but with my mind. And they will be stored not in an album or on a cloud, but in my heart, And that is what will make all the difference.
Capture the Moment
Embrace the Challenge