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Day 48: All that lies behind a single moment

December 1, 2023

I’m feeling a bit spiritual this morning.

I’ve been up since 3.48am, listened to an audiobook, done a meditation and a breath work practice, had a workout and taken a dip in a very cold pool.

Just after 6.30am, my son came down the stairs in search of “Mr Elf” – the (sometimes) naughty elf who moves around the house each night in December, leaving a trail of toilet roll, treats and devastation in his wake. My son loves Mr Elf and has been excited about his return since early in November, so the search this morning held a little magic within it as his delight was palpable.

We finally discovered Mr Elf hiding behind a small pot plant, bearing a note: Peek-a-boo! I’m BACK! Did u miss me?! He’d brought with him two GIANT christmas lollipops – the kind I associate with the Dudley Moore Christmas film, “Santa Clause: The Movie” (But a quick Google search suggests no such lollipops were present in the movie!)

As we stood there, I told my son how envious I was – how I had always wanted a lollipop like that when I was a kid because I’d seen them in the movies and knew they were made in Santa’s Grotto.

He looked up at me and asked, “Would you like some of mine mummy?”

“That’s so lovely of you to offer. No, that’s ok. Now that I don’t eat much sugar, I’m not sure I’d like it as much as I would have as a kid.”

At which point he turned to the elf and said, “Mr Elf, can you bring another one for my mummy please?”

What does this have to do with joy?

Well, aside from the obvious heart-melting moment, afterwards I reflected on the (literally) millions of things that had to happen for that single moment to materialise in exactly that way.

When you think about it, it’s mind blowing.

So much so that I’m struggling to find the words because so many of the most awful and catastrophic things in my life had to happen the way they did to put me on the trajectory that led me to this moment, standing in this spot, with this boy and this elf.

There have been a million moments in my life where I’ve wished for things to be different, wished to go forwards or backwards in time – to undo something, take something away or make something better – but if even one of those wishes had been granted, I could have changed my path and arrived in a different place, living with different people, living a different life.

A lot goes into making the little moments of our lives. I’m not sure I noticed it quite so much before, and my gratitude for that wonderful moment with my son must therefore be gratitude for every moment in my life. Perhaps that’s a short cut to being grateful for every moment ahead as well, because who knows what it’s all leading to.

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