"A playful child knows a happiness that no adult can ever know, because their happiness lies in 'the moment.' Unfortunately, there is a moment in our childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. The moment we stop believing in Santa......the moment we learn that lollipops don't grow on trees and that all money that comes out of a wall isn't free......the moment we grasp that creatures we love will one day die........the moment we start to see a difference between ourselves and other children; this is the moment our childhood innocence is lost.
As an adult we grow to understand that we have choices. We can choose to live in the moment, dream of the future or dwell in the past. It is pointless to wait for a moment; you have to experience it, not anticipate it. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that the essence of life can be captured in a moment's insight better than a lifetime's experience. Forever is composed of nows.
Don't let the moment pass by without tasting its pleasure of all it has to offer, however difficult your circumstances. Even in her housebound prison, Anne Frank knew how magical could be the moment when she wrote, 'How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.' We were given life from one moment of 'togetherness' shared between our parents and it therefore behoves us to find the pleasure, love and goodness in it.
Take love for example. Love is a moment of madness mixed with ecstacy in which we learn that the best way to pay for it is to enjoy it. It descends on one with the illusion of being eternal and though we often find it difficult to know where love begins, it is easier to know when it has begun.
From the time I was eleven years old and hungry hormones raged within my growing body, I remember feeling sexy and I could hardly wait for the moment when I was old enough to do something about it. Then there was the moment of my first real kiss; not that mild touching of lips like the licking of a postage stamp, but nothing less than the intertwining of tongues and the touching of tonsils.
'Being in love' leads one to treasure moments; meaningful and romantic times and sometimes silly. While I have been in love many times, I remember 'being in love' for the first time. It was 1963 and the place was Toronto, Canada and The Beatles were the number one group on the planet. Had the world entered into nuclear war at the time, it wouldn't have mattered. As far as me and Jenny were concerned, we were the only two people on earth that counted. It was a wholly selfish moment of feeling insulated from any unhappiness around us. I recall wanting to impress her and to provide her with a moment she would never forget, so I used three month's wages on the romantic gesture of having a favourite eating place open up to the public half an hour later than usual, just so we could dine alone as 'a couple.' When my mother eventually learned of this extravance her only words were, 'Billy, a fool and his money are soon parted,' before adding,' And how come you spent all that money on her and came back to England without her?'
At the time, the moment wasn't quite right for either of us to settle down to a life time's commitment. Retrospectively, we weren't too young; simply both too cautious. Today I know differently. I now believe with every bone in my body that if you love someone, you say it there and then, out loud. You anchor yourself in the present moment and are prepared to launch yourself on the crest of every wave that takes you both to where the tide next comes in.
How many times after the death of a loved one have we heard the bereaved person say, 'What I wouldn't give for just one more moment of being with them to see them smile.....hear them laugh..... hold their hand.......to tell them that I love them and that I'll never stop loving them.'
Finally, there are those times in our lives that I call our 'moments of wickedness', when we do something wrong and get away with it knowing that punishment will never be delivered for having been clever enough to have committed the perfect crime.
During my first marriage, I loved trees and my wife didn't. In the corner of our back garden was a beautiful sycamore tree of over a hundred years in growth which she was constantly pestering me to get cut down. Being a nature lover, I naturally refused. Upon our subsequent separation and divorce, as I left the matrimonial abode for the final time, she made some snide comment about it being time for the sycamore 'to go also.' This thought angered me immensely. One week later, I contacted my friend Keith who worked in the Planning Department at the Huddersfield Council and between us we fixed it. One month later, the beautiful sycamore had a 'Preservation Order' on it, forbidding anyone to interfer with its growth and enabling it to grace the back garden of my ex-wife's house for another hundred years! It gave me a wicked sense of pleasure at the moment and for some time afterwards to know that when my ex and the new man in her life next looked out of the window holding hands and saw the sycamore, it would be me who they'd think of.
'Sheila, what are you doing in that bathroom.You've been there half an hour. Hurry up and come to bed, I've something to show you.'
'Be there in two minutes, Bill.'
'No need to bother hurrying anymore. Take your time; the moment's passed.'" William Forde: February 26th, 2015.