Live Life in the Present at the Table
My great-grandparents lived in Old East Dallas in a small house with a big porch and a porch swing to match.
After lunch on Sundays the adults would sit on the porch and yak.
The house did not have any air conditioning, only an attic fan.
Sitting outside was way more comfortable than inside.
When no one was around I would sit on that swing for long periods of time enjoying the breeze and listening to the birds.
And time seemed to stand still.
How Time Flies
Neuroscientist David Eagleman says that the more detailed our memory, the longer the moment seems to last.
This, says Eagleman, is why as you grow older, the faster time seems to fly. As the world is more familiar, the less detail we capture. And so the years come and go like the wind.
Capturing each moment is perhaps the most important work we do each day.
Porches used to be places where we could savor a moment or two.
In fact, for more than 100 years the porch was the outside living room and the heart of a community where neighbors connected.
Then came the 1950s with television and the proliferation of air conditioning.
Almost overnight, porches disappeared and consumerism boomed as television advertisers sold us what we previously didn’t know was missing from our lives.
Today, we have computers and smartphones to occupy our time and deliver these messages to us.
The truth is we are missing a few thing things, but not something can be bought or sold.
What We Truly Hunger For is Connection
Companionship, relationships, time for reflection.
Perhaps you don’t have a porch.
But almost everyone has a table.
Think of your table as your indoor porch and recapture your life.
Gather. Often. With friends. With family. Even by yourself.
Take a moment to be present.
And soak it in.
I cherish my memories of enjoying the rhythmic motion of a swing and its simple joy the same way I value table moments with friends and family.
Live Life in the Present With Friends and Family at the Table
Henry David Thoreau said, “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land.”
Enjoy time at your table and create some cherished memories this week.
About the photo: The photo pictures the Lewis family circa 1969 standing in front of my great grandparent’s porch. While the porch swing is not visible, you can see the chains from which it is suspended.