Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Value of Time

As I approached the park, the sidewalk was full of Hassidic Jewish women and their children. Most of the women wore white head scarves and the children were all dressed up, celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Getting closer to the park, I saw that the women and children were all headed towards the fountain. And there, at the fountain, the women were gathered, facing the water, holding their prayer books and praying. It seemed as if they flocked there as the sun set, the path was full and populated, the children played, the women prayed. It was a moving sight, cinematic, and stunning.

This was quite a beautiful moment. Unexpected. Touching. It is often the unexpected moments that strike us most deeply.

Today, waking up to an empty house with my parents away in New York, I thought, it might be nice to invite my friend Jessica over for dinner. And in an impromptu way, I gave her a call and we decided that she would come over that evening. I cooked my reliable recipe: Sesame Ginger Lime Soba Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Snowpeas (substituting with Udon for a change). It is such a pleasure cooking and bringing things together (I've even offered to cook for friends, but no one has taken me up on my offer yet).

Jessica arrived and we talked and shared and cooked a bit more and ate and conversed and laughed... Before we knew it we were doing the dishes and Jessica was getting ready to head back home and tackle more schoolwork. While it had felt like we had spent so much time together. Surely a few hours had passed. But no. In fact, only a bit over an hour had passed. But such quality time.

Therein lies the difference between the amount of time and the value of that time. Really it doesn't take too much to have a conversation, to connect, to share. One needs to invest a bit of effort. One needs to take a moment to recognize the value of that time. And just like my evening with Jess, the benefits that are subsequently reaped are so very beneficial, and so very simple too. All you have to do is allow those moments to bloom, and units of measure fall away to something more.

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