I’m constantly learning. S has brought a unique dimension to this. I believe people who stop learning or experiencing novel events become unhappy.
Perhaps a skill we should learn at school, is how to make the most of what we have and what we can experience. I view this at the root of much mindfulness teaching, it goes back further to stoic thinking. I made a round-about post on this last year while waiting for buses and thinking about samurai quotes.
Our ability to re-purpose our moments meaningfully is important. The - perhaps fictional story - of the janitor telling the US President “I’m helping put a man on the moon” his job part of a wider more important calling. A cleaner in a hospital is saving lives on as regular basis as a junior doctor.
Experiencing unique moments. S shows me how to do a lot of this. I’ve trekked through ancient rainforests, accidently eaten the egg of a maleo bird and stayed with nomadic hunter gatherers in the Sulawesi jungle. Only a handful of people have experienced that.
Still, not many people have gone to Northwick Park, and stood on a footbridge to watch 8 different types of train go past. The experiences have more in common than you might think. You could approach this with a heavy heart and a mind of boredom. Hard to do when S remains so cheerful. Reminding you life is all around, new experiences are everywhere. I’ve never been to this footbridge before.
Instead I noticed the squelch of mud and the vigourous grass. I laughed at the train racing between the Bakerloo line train and the London Northwestern Railway trains. I watched in passing a scrappy game of football, mixed race, mixed gender, head scarfs and Nikes and hoodies all jumbled - I thought perhaps only in London on a cloudy winter day.
A reason to be hopeful - the wished for happy endings that Annie Proulx speaks about -