In the summer, when you have no plans, time doesn't exist. An eternity and a few minutes become one in the same.
It was one of those days. The sun was hot, beaming down on Hadley, MA on the weekend of the 4th of July. On days like those, nothing was better than relaxing on a beach on the banks of the Connecticut River and that's exactly what I was doing with a small group of friends. The smell of cheeseburgers and hotdogs, the smell of summer, was resonating from somewhere we couldn't pinpoint. Lining the shore were boats of every nature; houseboats, waterski boats, canoes, either anchored or attempting to find a spot to stop and enjoy the day. Everyone was working hard to relax. Somewhere between river sports, jokes, and a sandy nap, I found time to reflect on the moment in which I was living. Laying on a borrowed inner tube, eyes closed, sun-dried (except for my feet, which were dangling just below the surface), I stopped and thought of the advice of Mr. Kurt Vonnegut who said,
"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"
Since then, I've always been more aware of what was going on wherever I might be. Any time I'm set on being mindless, I step back and look at the moment and remember Vonnegut's words and I smile. There's a time to be focused on personal goals and the individual self but other times, when I feel like I'm perfectly blended into the greater scheme I make a point to recognize the present and nothing else.
I urge you to do the same. Surround yourself with good company, laugh with friends and don't take a perfect moment for granted. Look at the world as a whole and think that you're not just an individual but a piece of something bigger, a broad image that is to be remembered as a whole. Because the river will keep flowing, but as long as your floating in your inner tube, it doesn't matter where it takes you, as long as you smile and say to yourself "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."