Taking moments

Breathing mountain air

Breathing mountain air

I’ve just returned from Germany and Austria. No, it wasn’t a vacation. No, I wasn’t backpacking or exploring unknown little villages and towns. I didn’t meet a bunch of fellow travellers. I didn’t get lost and have to ask for directions desperately in broken German. I didn’t have an oversize backpack with all my worldly possessions stuffed inside.

What I did do was take moments.

I was only there for two days, essentially. I spent one night in the air and two days on the ground, and the next flying home. It was two days of presentations, and driving routes, photo ops and scheduled driver changes. I was there to drive a new car (but I can’t talk about that here). It was a purely business-related trip. But I made sure to take moments, for me.

Our drive route took us through the Karwendal nature reserve, which stretches from Germany into Austria. Winding twisty roads collided with larger-than-life trees and a serene, picturesque lake was in the middle of it all. My co-driver found a fabulous place to stop and take photos of our car near the water with the mountains visible in the background along with the looking-glass water which was (despite the overcast day) a stunning teal blue colour. It was like a postcard, really. We couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop.

As my colleague fussed with his camera and angling the wheels just right, I slipped from the passengers seat and down the rocky embankment to the edge of the water. I may have shouted out a “I may or may not return” just to let him know I was no longer in the car, but I otherwise made the decision to explore at the very last second. I felt I needed to do it.

Lurching precariously from boulder to boulder I made my way to the edge of the water where I stood. In silence. Pure silence. No phone going off. No music. No voices. No talking. No traffic. No background noise of any sort. Just the sound of the water lapping ever so gently at the stony beach, and the wind in the trees, perhaps a bird every now and then.

It was glorious. That moment. That moment in time reset me. Wait, that’s a lie, it wasn’t that particular moment of standing there head to the sky, eyes closed, arms straight and palms open. No, my moment of reset was when I crouched down and plunged both hands in the mountain-fresh, cool-to-the-touch water and felt that moment. That was my reset button. That was my rebirth, so to speak.

I didn’t stay there long. My co-pilot finished his photo shoot and we needed to continue on our way. For a brief moment I was upset I’d not taken my camera or at least my phone to show the rest of the world what a beautiful, perfect moment that was. But then I thought, no, that was MY moment. That was MY time. That was for ME only. And I’m happy no one else got to experience it with me.

That’s not the first moment I’ve taken.

In Iceland I stood, in near complete darkness as the sun was just about to rise at about 11:00am and listened to the wind howl across a snowy tundra while I watched Icelandic Horses trundle along beside the road we were stopped on. It was perfection. I breathed deeply. I felt alive. No phone. No pictures. No camera. Just me. No proof I did any of that, but that’s not why I did it.

In Marseille, France, I went for a short run the day I landed. It’s a great way to get to know the city you’re in (I think) and explore a little while doing something for yourself, too. While on that run, I came across a massive monument along the coastline, a huge angel of sorts. I have no idea what it was for or who it was, but it spoke to me. I stood under it looking out onto the ocean for quite some time. Deep breaths. Eyes closed. Sure, my run was recorded, but not that moment. That moment was mine.

On my run today in Montreal, I took a moment. A family of Canadian Geese (goslings and all) were strolling along the path I’d chosen to run on. Instead of just cruising by them I stopped. I stopped to smile and giggle at the ungainly babies trying to keep up with mum and dad. To watch the weird way their knocked-kneed legs scurried along, then came to a sudden halt when mum or dad stopped. How they grazed over blades of grass, their bills rapidly opening and closing as they took whatever nutrients they needed from the ground and greenery. It made my heart happy. It made my soul smile. And so I took that moment for me.

As I write this particular blog, there’s a thunder storm raging outside my bedroom window. I’ve thrown open the windows to listen. The rain is pelting the side of the building and my windowpane, and the thunder is deep and rumble-y (just the way I like it). There doesn’t seem to be any lightening, but it’s perfection. The thunder is spaced out enough to make my skin prick just a bit each time it cracks, but then the rain brings me right back down to serenity. This moment. Now. This is what counts, this is what matters. I am content in this moment. I am where I want and need to be.

Truthfully, I didn’t always take those moments. I didn’t always appreciate what was around me, what I was looking at, how it could influence and affect me. That hurt me as a person.That made me cold, uncaring, uninvolved. It stopped me from experiencing things that could better me as a person, better me as a mother, as a lover, as a friend. So much of our world flashes by us on a daily basis… it’s a bit scary. It’s even scarier that we let it. All the time.

I won’t preach about taking the time to enjoy the little things. That’s bullshit. Take the time to enjoy the things that make you happy. The things that make you feel content, make you feel whole. Those might not be little things at all. Those might be skydiving or getting a tattoo or completing an Ironman. Or they might very well be smelling flowers on an evening stroll, sticking your hands in a random European mountain lake or listening to the rain on a windowpane.

Whatever your moment is, take it. Breathe deep. It’s yours.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on June 21, 2015.

One Response to “Taking moments”

  1. I give this a middle of the road mark because at this point, that’s where I see you. You can bear left or right….but it’s okay to pause and get your bearings, too.

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