Those were the days with no technology to distract us. No televisions, iPads or mobile phones. No text messages or social media, no endless selfies. Absolutely nothing to take our focus from the present or stop us from noticing the beauty of our surroundings.
Those were the days when our focus was on family. When we kept in touch with aunts, uncles and cousins. When the next generation grew up playing outdoors together. Running around, games of tag, pushing each other on a rope swing hanging from a tree. Laughing and joking, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the countryside.
Those were the days when getting from A to B meant meandering through the countryside on a little steam train. Chatting, giggling and waving to passers by. Pointing out the scenery, the trees and the animals.
Those were the days when eating out meant sitting outdoors with a picnic. Talking about life, putting the world to rights and enjoying each other’s company. When eating wasn’t about sharing food but about sharing time.
Those were the days when the hours passed like minutes, when nobody watched the clock because there was nothing to rush back for, no need to be anywhere else. When work ended the moment you left the workplace, stresses and worries weren’t brought home to interrupt time as a family.
Those were the days when material things didn’t matter. When having the latest gadgets wasn’t even a consideration. When you dressed for the temperature rather than the fashion. When footwear got muddy, puddles were splashed in and a drop of rain didn’t matter because everybody knew that there was no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing.
Those were the days when fresh air and exercise meant that there was no such thing as insomnia. Going home in the evening meant the end of a full day, with every minute packed full and enjoyed. Living each moment so hard that by the end of it, you could fall asleep standing up.
Those were the days when family came first, when we remembered what really matters. When we put the time aside to fulfil our promises. When keeping in touch meant arranging a time to meet up and being there, not being satisfied with a text message or contact on social media. When conversations took place in person, when eye contact could be maintained without the help of Skype.
Those were the days like today. When we spent time with people we love. With no mobile phone signal, no watch, no pressure to be anywhere else. When we enjoyed each other’s company for the first time in a long time.
Those were the days when we remembered the important things in life. When we knew that our busy, hectic, cluttered, distracted lives could wait. Just for a day. Just for a few hours. Just for long enough to remember what really mattered.
Those were the days that were there all along, the ones that have become fewer and farther between, but they haven’t disappeared. We can still find them if we know where to look. If we take the time to search for the hidden gems of life, the ordinary moments that make our lives extraordinary.