Last year, exciting personal news for me meant taking time to step back and ask new and different questions, which coincided with a long-overdue visit home to Australia. Switching off and spending some quality time with friends and family was a time I looked forward to for months, after having booked our flights well in advance in the hopes of saving our wallets some.
Sharing laughs, swims, meals and sunsets with some of my nearest and dearest after years apart (thanks to covid) was soul-filling in a way I couldn't quite imagine. The change of scene also gave me time to rewire my mind, refocus inward and away from work and my usual daily rhythms, and build a fresh perspective for the year ahead.
I've always been a good planner. A list-writer. Moodboard-maker. Tarot-card-reader. Finding joy in thinking ahead.
But after such a long time away from loved ones and sentimental scents, flavours, places and sounds, here are my unadorned thoughts on savouring the moment - in it, and after it. Perhaps not especially 'the art of', but at least my approach to...
Suspend a sense
It sounds counter-intuitive, but taking a minute to shut off a sense in a situation often helped me to feel it more presently and holistically. As if I was zooming out for a birds eye view of a moment. Enjoying a swim with family at a beach we hadn't been to together for years was hot, windy and salty, multiple conversations bubbling and a strong tide pulling us about. Flitting between conversations at a picnic with friends was a fast flurry of emotions with the afternoon breeze flowing and the grass cold beneath my toes.
Floating for a moment, stepping away so as not to be part of the noise and conversation for example, or closing my eyes while listening, allowed me to get a better sense of the moment overall. I was able to hone in better on the salt on my skin, the blades of grass at my feet, the wind on my face. I could properly take in the reality that we were, really, finally together again and enjoying simple pastimes. I could tie the wafting scent of Sunday afternoon park barbecues, a pink sunset taking shape before me, and the sound of bats finding a home for the night in the branches above us to a new, beautiful memory of friends gathered, laughing and catching up in the park.
Taking advantage of the 'floating', I was mindful of capturing these memories. At dinner, sitting quietly at a long table with some of my nearest and dearest, savouring the tastes of a minty homemade lemonade, taking in the balmy summer street behind us and listening to no conversation in particular - rather the hum of many overlapping, I'd take a mental snap of the moment.
A camera snap works too!
Spending a moment back in another moment is a sort of savouring too, really. Look back on the moments – share them with someone, write them down, hang up a few of the snaps.