“At the still point of the turning world…
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is…
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” –T.S Eliot
What is summer time? Not summertime, but summer time?
Summer is the still point of the turning world. Summer time is different from normal time. Literally, the days are longer. We change our pace. In the parks of London you see office workers lying out on the grass on their lunch breaks, having picnics; we take time “out”; we sleep until we feel like it, not until the alarm goes off; we stay up until we feel like sleeping; we spend time with our loved ones and families away from normal routine.
How can we really seize the moment this summer?
Here’s my invitation to you:
- Take time to savour the still point of the turning world in summer. Whether you’re “taking time out” on holiday, or taking time in, loving the present moment and immersing yourself in its pleasures and delights, find your still point.
- Whether you’re on the beach, in your garden, in the mountains, in the city … why not slow down to reflect, to be rather than do, to experience now rather than remembering the past or imagining the future?
- Make this summer time one of memory building, where you truly connect with your loved ones and family, and as you go to sleep each night, reflect back on your 3 happiest memories of the day (a habit that will demonstrably make you happier).
We are often so busy — rushing so fast — that we forget “there is only the dance.” We forget what it feels like to be still. We lose our lives repeatedly in the course of one day, getting through things rather than being present and with them. Slow down to the speed of life!
Remember that like it or not, time passes. Our children grow up, and one day an experience we have with them will be the last time it happens, though we won’t realise it at the time — the last bedtime story, the last time we walk them to school. So let’s remind ourselves of how precious and limited time is and make sure we remember to be happy when we’re happy, rather than realising after that we were happy then.
My own son is 17 this year, and I’m so aware this summer of how very special it is to spend time with him while he’s still living at home, how wonderful it will be to enjoy our summer holiday together, how much I love being with him. Of course I’ve always known and felt this, but realising he is going to university next year makes it so much more evident and poignant. And of course this is true for all of us as parents and for all of us in general … the world turns.
So let me invite you this summer to keep a journal, take time out just to be and do nothing, cherish yourself and everyone you love, do some yoga, read a book, take a walk, swim, savour the sunshine on your skin, have real conversations that light you up.
Before you stop reading, let me challenge you to make a note of 3 things you plan to do different to make summer 2015 extra-specially memorable …
- How will you make your still point this summer spectacularly special?
- How will you savour the moments?
- How will you dance?