The Gift of Time


Seeing the Soul...

The afternoon rays filtered through the lace curtains, falling softly across my mum’s face. I was propped up on the couch in front of her, my legs carelessly thrown over the armrest.

She was talking animatedly about her favorite subject – my dad :), and his recent exploits. I watched her face, as myriad expressions flitted across within seconds and felt a strange kind of contentment. The face that had been once guilty of an arresting purity, had aged over the years and now reflected a woman with a deeper strength of purpose.

It had been about half hour after lunch, and this was one of our usual conversation periods. We would joke, and reflect – on ourselves, on our family, society, human emotions and life in general. In the kitchen, on the living room couch, in the balcony, or on the phone – the location didn’t matter; many years had passed and these languid moments of companionship hadn’t changed.

I thought to myself… Surely, there was something deeper in this than just frank, effortless, soul-soothing communication? Was I under-estimating the value of these moments?

My stream of thought moved on. With a familiar pang in my heart, I thought of how easily we forgot what life was about. It’s always, “I have yet another thing to do”, or “there’s a very important meeting that I cannot afford to miss”, or “I simply don’t have the time!”. All the while, our most basic needs are sacrificed at the altar of mindless-routine.

And as I thought more about it, it dawned on me. That this is probably what this New Year needed to be about the most:

The thought that there is much more to human life than existence, thousands of commitments, and all our precious monetary/material possessions. The thought that the world feeds off the energy and spirit of living individuals… not mindless zombies :).

The world that we all should be living in is the one that blooms with companionship, and each day brings that one miracle that owes its creation to love. A world where someone somewhere could still become a champion for under-rated (perhaps altogether-alien) values like honesty, integrity, fearlessness, and compassion.

Those moments of being-ness that I experienced as I heard my mother talk brought forth a thought that I wish I remembered more often: That as people, we all have a unique gift that only we can provide: Our Time.

I realized that the most precious gift we could give those who really mattered to us (parents, spouse, children, friends…), was a few minutes of our lives – a few fragments of our otherwise complicated existence:

  • A few minutes to listen to aspects of their lives. Their thoughts, aspirations, hopes and sorrows.
  • A few minutes to observe and imbibe aspects of their personalities. Their uniqueness. Their crazy yet endearing ways.
  • A few minutes to tell them more about ourselves. Give them a feel of what we as individuals are experiencing.
  • A few minutes to show them that it was really important to us that they were around. And that despite all the things we could be doing otherwise, we wanted to spend those moments with them, because nothing else mattered as much.
  • A few minutes that we could choose to spend today… minutes that we could look back upon many years later, and feel grateful for. Especially when those we chose to give this gift to, are no longer with us.

The Gift of Time. The Gift of Love. The Gift of Life.

So ask yourself (as I asked of me): This new year, are you ready to give this gift to someone in your life?

Happy New Year everybody!!!  (and please make your choices wisely :))

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8 thoughts on “The Gift of Time

  1. Very well said-it is the gift of time, love, life that brings happiness to our loved ones.Indeed a beautiful thought to begin the New Year.
    Wishing you a Joyful & Prosperous New Year 2010!!

  2. I suppose the best things in life are often disguised in the word called Simplicity -it is almost always right there, right under our noses, but in our anxious pursuits for a time that is yet to come (the future), we unknowingly sacrifice the pure bliss and joy of immersing in the here and now, of capturing the colours of that one single joyful moment, and making your life more meaningful.

    And from the afternoons that you’ve shared with mum so far, i can see that you’ve remembered to present yourself with the most definite, solid gift that anyone is bound to get, if they’d only realize its value: the present 🙂

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO!

    • @Vino: Trust you to define it with such poetry :).

      The realization of how precious some of those things that I took for granted, didn’t come so easy. But I’ve always believed in this – exactly as you said – that life’s meaning is in knowing to value each moment. And each of our relationships.

      People are unique and precious gifts – various aspects of God, experiencing himself on earth…making them his channels to influence and change our lives – and this is what makes relationships magical. Its not often that we realize this, but when we do, it helps to write that down – which is what I’ve done with this blog.

      As you said, the gift is only to ourselves, and in this case, to myself 🙂

  3. Well written. Happiness is the greatest thing one can gift to others/oneself. And most often, you have to spend your most precious resource, Time, to buy that invaluable gift.

    Wish you a lifetime of happiness!

    Ajay

    • @Ajay: Touche! Thank you for those heartwarming wishes… here’s wishing you exactly the same. Lots of love, happiness and the best of friendships in your life :).

  4. Shikha,

    Happy New Year to you.
    Thanks for your greetings. Even though it has been a looooong time, it was very nice to hear from you.
    I hope everything is going on well and this year brings lots of happiness.
    -OS

    • @OS: As I said on your blog, I’m thrilled :). Great to hear from you too, and yes, I’m still besotted with life ;)…so its going on well.

      Happiness is as how we define it, and as far as I’m concerned, being able to be close to God, having the time to do what really matters to me, and let my near-and-dear ones know how special they are – would be my mantra. And I’m grateful to have all of that… so for now, this year looks wonderful.

      Here’s wishing the very same to you too! 🙂

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