I fully appreciate the oddity of this reflection’s title. Perhaps you, and I, and possibly a few similar-minded folks, excuse our missing out by being too busy. We haven’t the time or have something more pressing to attend to. ‘Perhaps another time I can, but not today or at the moment,’ are our pat answers to the many interruptions in our already-organised lifestyle. My eldest daughter reminded me three weeks ago that the bluebells were flowering in the woods where she lived. She strengthened the urgency of her reminder two weeks ago with, ‘Mum they are not going to last much longer, and you know how much you enjoy seeing them.’ How well she knows me! It is one of my traditional walks each year and I know that she was hoping that we could go together. Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet up with her, but she was so pleased that I still got my walk. The weather was perfect, the bluebells stunning, the trees coming back to life after the winter months and I was so pleased that I did as she suggested.
As I wandered through the woods enjoying the scent of the swathes of bluebells making beautiful blue carpets, interspersed with the various shapes of fallen trees and their stumps and listening to the birdsong I realised how worthwhile it was to make the effort to do something for myself. However, a much more sobering thought crossed my mind of a subtle reason which can cause us to miss out. Do we not make the effort to either enjoy or explore what might not, at first sight, be obvious or appealing to do so but can on closer inspection give us not only pleasure but the opportunity to experience something different?
We can see so much from a car window as we travel. This could be explained as a ‘passing by experience’. It is a fleeting awareness that we get even should the driver of the car slow down. If, however, we stop the car, don suitable footwear and walk in the woods we gain a much deeper awareness of the surroundings, and all that can be enjoyed. We need to slow down, give ourselves the time and to stop the continuance of thoughts that cause us to clock watch. Thoughts such as, ‘I mustn’t be late back. Did I remember this or that or the relentless ‘what will happen if’ scenarios?’ So many things are just waiting to trip us up and rob us of something good. If we stop those endless thoughts, we can give ourselves to appreciate differing aspects of life. What if we did not even bother to take the time out? Naturally, I am not thinking of just bluebell woods. How many things have you recently turned down? Time out to do a catch-up of an accumulation of things you wanted to get done, places and people you wanted to visit. Things you were too busy or lazy to plan well so that you missed out on the full pleasure and satisfaction that you hoped for? I was so glad for my daughter’s nudge to organise myself and make the effort not to miss out.