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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 22 November, 2017
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Opinion: Pause to appreciate a simple moment – it's what makes life beautiful

The stresses and strains of life were getting me down, but then I did what we so often neglect to do: I embraced the moment.

Naomi Lavelle

I FOUND MYSELF in a bit of a slump this week. The stresses and strains of life were getting me down. Someone close suggested I try living in the moment a little, take it as it comes and stop worrying about what may never happen. But how often do we take such sound advice? Especially from those who are nearest and dearest. I nodded and dismissed and went on my worrisome way. And then this happened…

… some simple moments of the day.

The sun came out and the sky was blue.

I walked a slow mile home from school with my three children.

I watched the camaraderie between my oldest two as they discussed such topics as “would the horror movie Chucky really alter your brain if you watched it? Even as an adult?”

I watched as one got entangled in a wayward briar and the other tried to free them, only to get caught up in it themselves. And so it went for a while, with one getting free and the other getting trapped and they laughed gently together – sharing the moment.

I saw the beautiful gift these two have, the gift of sibling love and companionship; not something any parent can give or even orchestrate but oh-so-wonderful when it arrives as a natural course.

And they share it with their younger brother who, today, preferred to fill my pockets with the hazelnuts he found, and fill my ears with his tales of school and the general ramblings of a four year old’s day. And, when I stopped to listen, those rambling words enchanted with their melody.

For that short walk home, time slowed down and I suddenly realised that I was living in the moment, and what a beautiful moment it was.

Moments of nothing in particular and yet full of everything that life requires. Moments that were fuel for the soul and tonic for the heart.

I wondered, as I watched, could others who passed us see what was there? As they drove by in their cars did they get to feel the glow of our moments too? Did it make them stop and live a moment of their own?

Slowly, we moved through our moments with each footfall upon the road until finally we were turning the key in our front door.

I arrived home with a face warm from the September sun and a hand glowing from the touch of a young boy’s hand that reached often and comfortably for mine on that long walk home.

I had always thought that a moment was just that – a small dot in time. From this new viewpoint I understood that a moment could be so much more; moments like these are eternity, for that is how long they stay with you. They can come from the everyday and the ordinary and they can hit you when you least expect them.

Dr Naomi Lavelle is a mum to three junior scientists who are always asking “how”, “why” and “what if”. She blogs at Science Wows where she aims to answer all their questions, one post at a time. She can also be found on Facebook and as @sciencewows on Twitter.

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Naomi Lavelle

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