Living Here and Now

Sometimes, on my way home, I watch mothers with their young children. Obviously they have fetched them from kindergarten, and now both are on their way home, or on their way to the next supermarket. Mom looks on her watch. You can see that she’s got a certain schedule in her mind (“must get food for dinner. Dinner must be ready at 7pm, otherwise hungry husband gets angry”). Little boy or girl is lagging behind and stops. A little dog has caught his attention, and he squats down to pat it. Mom has discovered that her child is not with her anymore, turns around and grabs her boy.

The little boy is making noises at the dog, and the dog is obviously enjoying his attention. The boy doesn’t want to go away. Here is a sweet little dog, swishing its tail, even throwing itself on its back in order to be patted on its tummy.

His mom is not stone-hearted. She notices the way her boy is acting – carefully patting the dog, making calming noises, and is proud of him. But she’s got that schedule in her head and wants to keep to it. So she says “Come on, we’ve got to go, daddy is waiting at home and wants to have his dinner”. No reaction. Her boy doesn’t care about the future. He’s focused on the here and now.

Here my story ends. We adults have our schedules. We go from A to Z in order to reach the office, the bus, to do the shopping, to meet someone at a certain time. We don’t want to get lost in the here and now. But I think that is something we should learn from children: to get distracted  – to get distracted by the song of a bird, by the color of a flower, the tail-swishing of a dog.

This is a contribution to Robert Hruzek’s Group Writing Project “What I learned from Children” over at Middlezone Musings.


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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

9 responses to “Living Here and Now”

  1. Joanna Young says :

    to get distracted by the song of a bird, by the color of a flower, the tail-swishing of a dog…

    How poetic. How true. thanks for the reminder Ulla!

  2. Veronica Bow says :

    Yes indeed. This is the gift that art, or photography, or writing gives to us. We lose ourselves in the moment, like that child with the dog.

  3. Robert Hruzek says :

    Beautiful lesson, Ulla; to get lost in the moment can sometimes be a wonderful gift! Alas, too often we adults forget to allow time for just hangin’ around.

    Thanks for the WILF entry and a tip o’ the hat to ya!

  4. Deb says :

    We are only promised this moment after all…. so if you have to have a schedule, plan some free time into your day. That way if you get distracted, you don’t feel guilty – you can really enjoy the moment! Great post Ulla – I love it when I get to think!

  5. ayelen says :

    Hey, I just found your blog because I googled my last name (hennig).
    It’s so werid because here (I live in south america) it’s no one’s last name.
    Maybe we’re family! 😛
    Anyway, I agree with you, most of the adults forget very important things. That’s why I’ll never be one of them. 🙂

  6. Dianne says :

    Lovely post, Ulla, thank you!

    Yes, children definitely have the right attitude to life … I read something this week, explaining that while children laugh about 300 times a day, we adults only manage 15 times a day. We can learn a lot from children!

    It’s so easy to get caught up in everything and miss the real beauty in life. Thank you for reminding us!


  7. jan geronimo says :

    Somewhere along the way to adulthood, we seemed to have lost that childlike sense of wonder and awe. It takes a child sometimes to rekindle that childlike curiosity in us. That’s a precious gift. Life is not simply a rush between pit stops. Along the way, slipping through the cracks of our mundane concerns lie life’s little bundle of gifts for us to savor. Thank God for children for reminding us to live in the moment, too.

  8. Jeanne Male says :

    Thanks fur such an important reminder and lovely way to remind us, Ulla. I wonder how I might have been a better mother with such keen awareness. Yes, all we have is now to remind us that it is never to late to be present. 🙂

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  1. Middle Zone Musings » All Entries: What I Learned From Children - February 8, 2010

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