I have spent the past few mornings walking down from my apartment to one of Lisbon’s public gardens, Jardim da Estrela. I come here with a book, order an espresso, or, as the Portuguese say, ’uma bica’, and sit at a table next to a duck pond to read. Every day, children come down by the pond with their parents and their screams of delight fill the air. ’OS PATINHOS’ (the ducklings) they yell, their voices bearing the thrill of seeing a row of little yellow ducklings following their mother. They run to their parents, urging them to join them in their pure appreciation of this oasis of the natural world encapsulated in the centre of Portugal’s largest city.
At first, I looked on as most would, a small smile on my face as I thought to myself how excitable children get over such little things. But as the days went by the thrills of the children were as intense as ever, and the onlooking patrons of the cafe consistently presented their ’oh these children are too much’ faces… it got me thinking… At what point do we lose our child-like fascination with the world around us. At what point do we decide that it’s ’all the same’ to us and no longer worth our attention. And at what point do we become annoyed by the expression of that very same fascination we once felt as children.
We all need to seek out the joy in the every day. Find the comedy in the spontaneous moments of life that we so often overlook. From the thrill of a trail of ducklings to when a group of pigeons flock, all at once to a table the moment someone gets up from their seat to get at the leftovers. Scrambling over one another, falling off the side of the table in their fervour.
As the saying goes: stop to smell the roses. Our world is filled with so many thrills to constantly be half-living with our heads in our phones – something I know I’m guilty of. Find moments in your day for the spice of life. Don’t let it pass you by.