L’instant présent

IMG_4038One of the wonderful things about learning another language is the chance to see things differently. Thinking about the present in French leads me to appreciate fully the dual nature of this expression. The present moment – l’instant présent – is indeed a gift.

In case you think I’m going all philosophical on you, rest assured. I’m on holiday at the moment; hence my current fascination with the now. The stopping of clocks, the forgetting of what day it is. A momentary meditation on tree branches dancing in the wind, the clink of my coffee cup in the saucer, the sensation of sand between my toes. Suddenly there is no time like the present.

Daily I struggle with the demon of time. If I ignore it, the silly bugger has a way of sneaking up on me. “What? It’s ten o’clock already? Where did the time go?” If I obsess about it, time is a monkey on my back. Cracking his whip, urging me to go faster, to hurry up and move on to the next thing. Get it done. Then what?

The solution, as ever, lies somewhere in between. Set goals for the important stuff, stick to a schedule some of the time, forget about it for the rest. I’m not sure time can be managed in any real sense. What I do know is that it is our only currency. It can’t be saved but it can be spent wisely. A moment can be stretched almost to eternity if we allow ourselves to wander there.

So excuse me while I slip into l’instant présent. The weather is nice and I may decide to stay awhile.

Et toi?



  1. Food,Photography & France · September 7, 2015

    the present is a very good place to be….I stay there as often and as long as possible:)

    • MELewis · September 7, 2015

      You are so right, Roger. Much better than the past….and more reliable than the future.

  2. davidprosser · September 7, 2015

    I hope the holiday id great Mel and you don’t have the time monkey there cracking it’s whip.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • MELewis · September 7, 2015

      Thanks, David! It is always there but I manage to calm him with the nice views and frequent trips to the bar. 😉

  3. coteetcampagne · September 7, 2015

    Adopting this philosophy is. I think, the only way to stay sane.
    Children instinctively live in the present, we only lose it later when life starts heaping real responsibility on us
    A shame it takes most of us years to recognise this fundamental truth!
    (OOOOH if I knew then what I know now…..)

    • MELewis · September 7, 2015

      Seems we spend our whole lives trying to rediscover the wisdom of our childhood. Now I know why I loved Peter Pan so much. Cheers, Madame!

  4. cheergerm · September 7, 2015

    The future is uncertain and the present is here, right now. I guess a mix of both is healthy but sometimes we can only take one day at a time. Enjoy the present of being totally in the present.

    • MELewis · September 7, 2015

      Perhaps that’s one reason why cooking is so wonderful: it’s impossible not to be in the here and now while mixing and stirring and watching things rise. If only we had a recipe for the rest of life! 😀

  5. Kat · September 8, 2015

    Enjoy while it lasts! The only time when I do absolutely nothing, no deadlines, no checking on time, is when I have a beach holiday. I would love to have a beach holiday NOW away from bosses, annoying colleagues and deadlines! Lol…

    • MELewis · September 10, 2015

      Lucky me….I’m enjoying just that. Hope you will get your turn soon! 🙂

  6. Mél@nie · September 10, 2015

    @”Suddenly there is no time like the present.” – exactement, catégoriquement et absolument VRAI! 🙂 d’ailleurs, ma devise depuis qqs décennies est: memento mori, carpe diem et gaudeamus igitur! = remember you’ll die, live this very day and therefore, let’s enjoy it to the fullest! 🙂

    • MELewis · September 10, 2015

      It’s the perfect motto for a fully lived life, Melanie. You are clearly an expert! I find it easier to live by on vacation….so maybe the trick is to try and see all of life as one big holiday? 😉

  7. Pingback: Bon vivant – FranceSays

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