I am trying to live more consciously, savouring every moment. Rather than running from one task to the next I want to really experience every moment. This would be easier if I had more time, but that is just excuses rearing their genie heads. I am taking inspiration from the Buddhist concept of mindful living, and from the “carpe diem” philosophy of the Epicurists of Antiquity. I am learning that it does not actually take more time to consciously live through everyday experiences. All I have to do is keep my mind switched on. Which can be tiring, but it saves time in the long run: I learn more from my experiences.
My musings were rudely interrupted by my dog nudging me, and it struck me then that my dog has this mindfully living in the moment concept down to a fine art. She goes through her day something like this:
wake up: yay – morning cuddle!
breakfast! my favourite thing!
snoozing the morning away – heaven!
biscuit – yeah yeah yeah!
walkies! my absolute favourite thing!
foodies! best ever!
snoozing in the sofa as long as I can get away with it – heaven!
Every moment in her day is the best ever. Every day. She is the ultimate Zen master!
I live in a hilly area in England, which is never prettier than when covered in snow. The snow muffles the usual sounds of daily life, making the air strangely still. I find myself in a pristine landscape, where I am the first one to leave tracks.
Later, I bring my feet back to life on the floor heating and pour myself a Tripel Karmeliet beer.
The dog was snoozing in her basket, trying to ignore the signs of the house waking up. As I walked into the kitchen I spotted a red fox ambling through the garden. Dog spotted it too and all hell broke loose. Dog sprints to door, heckles up and barking mad; door is unlocked, fox notices dog and pelts for the back fence. Fox runs up and over the fence, its tail a red flag just as it disappears down the other side; dog splats into the fence and has to slink back into the house hoping we didn’t notice. This, I told the children, is evolution at work.