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Who Has Time to Stop to Appreciate?

October 10, 2019 | by Emuna Braverman

Apparently the Almighty decided I must make the time.

“Beautiful morning,” my husband said as he left today. “Don’t forget to notice it.”

Wow, does he have my number! It’s not that I don’t appreciate beauty when I see it – I’ve even been known to point a particularly spectacular sunrise out to him (probably because I was opening the blinds at that exact moment) – but who has time? I’m always so busy. There’s always so much to do. I’m running from bed-making to laundry to class preparation to teaching to making dinner to…we all have our drill. And it's heightened at this time of year – with all the holidays and all the meals. So it’s a nice thought, possibly even an uplifting one, but who has time?

he Almighty has apparently decided that I must make the time. Yesterday as I was rushing from grocery store to grocery store, cooking one Yom Tov item after another, squeezing in household chores and prayers (yes I know they shouldn’t be an afterthought that was squeezed in) and a shiva call and a class, as I was moving too quickly down the street after parking my car, I tripped.

I can’t blame any obstacles in my path, not physical ones anyway. I was just klutzy. I just wasn’t paying attention. My mind was four steps ahead and I missed the moment and lost my footing. I went flying and landed with a thump, on my shoulder, sprawled on a neighbor’s driveway, my keys half-way down the street.

“Did anyone see you?” asked one of my children, prepared to die of mortification. I reassured said child that I was quite alone. “I just wanted to know if there was anyone there to help you,” she (oops!) claimed. Good save, I thought. But there wasn’t. I picked myself off and limped home.

But something felt different this time and an hour and a half later I was at orthopedic urgent care being examined and x-rayed and fitted for a sling for my broken collarbone. Yes, you read correctly – the one that requires my arm remaining immobile or risk further injury (God forbid), the one that prevents driving or exercising or lifting anything heavier than a coffee cup (actually the pain prevents that!) and forces me to violate a strongly held principle and use paper plates for Sukkot!

I can’t run around now. I have to move very slowly and gingerly. And you know what it’s giving me a chance to do? You got it – notice the morning – and the afternoon and the evening – and all points in-between. No more rushing around. More sitting, more interacting with my family, more sunrises and sunsets.

I kept reliving that moment when I fell. If only I’d gone slower. If only I’d been more mindful (to use the current trend). I wouldn’t be in this position. And I might still be forgetting to notice…

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