‘At some time in the past, scientists discovered that time flows more slowly the further from the centre of the earth.’*
Time and presence are bound together.
If you happened to be around northern England or southern Scotland today, I hope you were able to spot the rare and amazing nacreous clouds, not just to know these were formed in the stratosphere at -85C, but to marvel at their gorgeous colours and gossamer-like appearance.
Alan Lightman tells one of his stories about time, imagining how some, in an attempt to add seconds to their lives, lives at the top of mountains in houses built on stilts. Others, though, not caring if they age a few seconds faster, come down from their lofty dwellings:
These adventurous souls come down to the lower world for days at a time, lounge under the trees that grow in the valleys, swim leisurely in the lakes that lie at warmer altitudes, roll on level ground. … When others rush by them and scoff, they just smile.’*
We know we each have the same amount of time as one another, and that or some time is plenty, whilst for others, it rushes by. There are those who never have enough time to do what they really want. For others, time melts into moments of being present. I not only want to know about something, I want to taste it, be moved by the flow of it, to feel it. Presence is wisdom, beyond knowledge: it’s ‘how we do the moment’**
Such experiences are all around us, in people, in ideas, as well as in nature. We also get to make these moments of presence around what we love and value.