Here & Now

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I live in Greenwich, the home of Mean Time and Zero Longitude - which makes it a great place to reflect on our relationship with time and space. When I walk through Greenwich Park, I sometimes match my steps with the mantra “here, now, here, now…” With each “here” I’m aware of being in a distinct place in the universe, and with each “now” I remind myself that I am entering a new moment.

This little ritual helps me remember that life is a stream of moments that come one at a time. They can’t be saved up, stretched or sidestepped. But for most of my life, I’ve acted as though the opposite is true: I’ve tried to “save time” by plowing ever faster through my to-do list only to discover there’s no special bank of free time waiting as a reward. I’ve been guilty of rushing through too many todays toward an idealized future that never arrives. 

But awareness is half the battle, and so today I’ll set out for Greenwich Park, walking with the gentle reminder of “here, now, here, now.” I’ll think of what the landscape historian John Stilgoe said: “Outside lies utterly ordinary space open to any casual explorer willing to find the extraordinary.”

As I settle into a rhythm, soften my focus and relax into the landscape, I might feel space and time enfolding me in a most beautiful, immediate and vivid here and now. Is there anything better? 

MJ Grant