Is there anything more pure than the mind of a child?
Where the reality of a day goes on forever ~ entranced by all the love and peace around. Never a day lost, never a day wasted. Time does not exist in the manner we experience as adults. Time is in abundance.
The preciousness of every heartbeat, a soothing melody moving the world forward as it should.
Yesterday I read the average human has somewhere around three billion heartbeats within a lifetime. Not a small number, but disappointing nonetheless. It gave me pause to consider the value of each heartbeat. To reassess the importance of time.
My goal is not to squander any more heartbeats, and of course the humor was not lost on me as I ‘wasted’ several thousand mulling this over…
Roughly 2,000 years ago, the Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote an essay, On the Shortness of Life, about how our existence rushes by and only when we begin to understand the importance of time, it is too late. It’s over.
Seneca believed for many, the tragedy was not because life itself is short, but the amount of time wasted makes it short.
“We do not appreciate the value of time… life is long if you know how to use it.” – Seneca
Caught up in social media and daily news cycles, it becomes easy to go through the motion of living. We lose our consciousness and with it beautiful scenes become a faded blur of a sound-bite world.
The silver lining of the past couple of years has been the space to step back from the chaos of life; catch a glimpse of what a world looks like when time is available and not the end goal.
Listen to the heartbeat and life opens up.
Seneca too appreciated the heartbeat of life. He railed against the preoccupied souls wrapped up in the material world, chasing anything but an authentic life – supplying us with the quote:
“So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long.” – Seneca
This quote hammered into me the need to unlatch myself from the zeal of business; work hard but relish those moments of peace. Not an easy thing to do.
The beat of time varies like the weather, similar to music and mood. There are days when running around with hair on fire is the only option, and long hours spent on projects a blast ~ but always with an eye on what brings bliss: exploring and learning something new.
Often such exploration comes via a book, a place to capture a different taste of philosophy; ideas of a culture sharing its wisdom. A time to relax, to let the serene pieces of life soak in.
The beat of the heart in harmony with the ticking of time leads the way. For those who know me, family and friends define who I am. It took me years to understand they also help define who I can become.
“How much happier is the man who owes nothing to anybody except the one he can most easily refuse, himself!” – Seneca
Seneca’s words have always had the power to snap me away from the mirage of success ~ “I lose the day in waiting for the night, and lose the night in fearing the dawn.” Shines a light on the false belief: if I could only have this, I would be happy…
It is an enlightening moment to understand how simple happiness can be. May not be a professional athlete or atop a business empire as once dreamt, but somehow I’m much better off.
I’ve over achieved. I’m happy.
A happiness evolved from a trust in fate; a natural rhythm dictating the evolution of connections.
There are times in life when things come together. Synchronicity ~ a natural paring.
Explanations are not necessary; when such moments come together, celebrate. Take time away from the chaos and melt into the surroundings.
Melt into the colors, melt with the scene, and then melt perfectly into the love of others.
These timeless moments create a few extra heartbeats, and time stands still. Damn. I love life 😊.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the beat of your heart and jump into the unknown ~ it is the logical thing to do.
It is what we were made for.
Such a beautiful post as always. I often feel I’ve lost all of my creativity! When I look at the photos of the young mother and child, I remember those days well when I was so tired but yet filled with an energy and life in the moment when I decided to stay home as a mother and raise my two kids. I treasure those years as the best years of my life. The kids are now teens and it is wonderful to see what amazing young adults they’ve become yet often I feel a sense of loss as the time is going so fast and soon they will be off to college and out of the house. Life is so precious. It goes so fast and yes we spend so much wasted time worrying (well at least I do!). Thank you for this incredibly beautiful reminder. No amount of money could ever bring me the happiness and joy of my loved ones, nature and enjoying each little moment of the day.
Wonderful to hear from you, Sue. It is always a good feeling when you can take a break from the rumble & tumble of life/work/stresses and escape into a more relaxed world, where the simple and beautiful things of life can be enjoyed and we can catch our breath 🙂 There is always time for running around with our hair on fire ~ but those moments we can sit quietly and reflect on ourselves and life matter more & more these days. Wishing you a great day and also great weekend ahead. Take care, Sue, and thank you!
I’ve been putting family before so many projects this year and I know we’re all stronger for it, yet your reminder sets the tone moving forward. Look for joy in the calm. Randall, your writing encourages us all and it is lovely to fund such a precious post from you. May your and yours enjoy the holiday season. Blessing in 2022
Now I wonder how I could afford to miss this precious read for months.. Seneca’s words are so ‘heavy-duty’ yet so ‘for-everybody’. Timeless. I’m glad you have decided to waste some of your heartbeats, or, to be more precise, to stop the time (mine, for the very least) with this article.
Your thoughts are always so beautifully expressed and delight me in so many ways. Wishing you a new year filled with time in which to love, care, and spread joy around you. May this find you and yours safe and well.
there should be an amazing button or a heart one, i think this is the most fullest of heart post i have ever read, and it didn’t send shivers like “all” your photographs do, it was the most amazing (hence the amazing button 🙂 ) it was a wave of calm, and your words held a rhythm that felt like a mantra . You have some great quotes of your own here, this is my favorite (of several more favorite here 🙂 ) “Listen to the heartbeat and life opens up.” i have been hearing mine for some reason lately, in the middle of the night when the world is quiet and it’s energy is calm, i hear my heartbeat, and it is such calming time. So Thank you for your magickal thoughts spun into words with your visual aides to show how you feel. once again your photographs are felt, and add the song of your thoughts, beautiful….
you have a family full of joy, it is wonderful to see into todays world.
Take Care Randall, You Matter…
Randall, Beautifully said and a tribute to being surrounded by love and happiness. Your stunning images are a celebration of love, life and adventure. Hope you are having a great start to this new year. All the best to you and yours. 🤗
What a wonderful post about love between people, something we need in these times.
Your photography is really great.
Have a lovely weekend.
Thank you very much. Yes, the presence of love in our lives where ever it may be found is something to be treasured in these times. Wishing you well ~
How well said, Randall.
Thank you for this amazing beautiful post. Every photograph is a celebration of life and makes me dream of places I need to visit. Thank you, also for sharing Seneca’s wisdom and your own thoughts on it. Life is precious, and I’m glad I’m not wasting a moment of it. The last two years have taught me a lot. For one, that there’s no time like now. So, do what you have to, now.
From the comments I realized you hadn’t posted in a long time. I’m glad you’ve returned as I only began following your blog. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, Randall!
Wonderful family pictures. Good luck finding more of the joyful occasions this year 🙂
Lovely to read this today, Randall. The Now is always as close as our own heartbeat.
I have missed reading your recent posts. For some unknown reason, WordPress decided not to send me an email when you have a new post. Now I have to catch up with your writings and beautiful photos.
Wonderful uplifting reading.