It’s an odd comment, isn’t it: “There’s not a moment to waste!”
I’ve ‘wasted’ lots of moments this month. August 2013’s remarkable beauty, particularly here in West Sussex, has requested that I stop and stare, contemplate, think, pray and dream.
The swinging seat (or covered deck) in our enclosed, deliciously private garden gazing with wonder at some of the nine varieties of trees we have planted.
The bench seat in the back of my newly converted T4 VW camper (with the door wide open) looking out onto Bosham waterfront.
The two-mile-long beach on the Gower Peninsula having walked across the rocks of Worms Head.
Gazing down over Storrington from Chantry Post as my friend Derek and I shared lunch – these have all played host to me ‘wasting a moment’, or maybe hours.
And June had many ‘wasted moments’ too as I took the Camper to Orkney via Loch Ness and Inverness, then down the west coast of Scotland from Cape Wrath (what a name!), round the gorgeous Applecross peninsula, down through Yorkshire, a bare star lit field in Cumbria, home to Sussex again.
Alone. Quiet. Still. Gentle. Literally ‘thought provoking’ hours.
Wasted moments? Of course not. These ‘wasted moments’ have been some of my most creative times, times of reevaluation, study, times when crucial insights mushroom from an atom-sized spark in my brain, forming, growing, transforming.
And who decides what is wasted and what is not? How can I ever know that the thoughts that came as I sat on the swinging seat were, in fact, wasted? Or the prayers I prayed. How can anyone, in this infinitely complex world of unexpected, unintended, unpretended ‘coincidences’ know what is wasted and what is priceless?
The most creative and life-changing moments come from surprise connections. In the last week: a meeting in a motorcycle dealership; a conversation on a Art Trail (through 40 private homes in Arundel); another, sitting on a bank of wind-swept grass waiting for the tide.
Go waste some time. It beats obsessing about efficiency and slotting people into already jammed diaries. Ugh! How do YOU like being ‘fitted in’ to places? Me too! Yet the work still gets done, my contribution made.
So put aside the world’s demands for it to consume more of your life for a bit. Leave “Juggling your life” to the editors of life-style magazines and programme editors. Risk ‘wasting’ some time between now and mid October.
Be an example to the world of someone who knows how and when to STOP. Step back from – or step out of – the lemming- race and see what happens. Wait for the tide.
And if you meet a Kind Stranger? Well, you’re in for a very nice surprise.