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  • Writer's pictureThe Hamilton Post

The Magic of the Moment

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

It’s in the simple things where the best part of life is found.

Like a hidden treasure, are these rare moments remembered forever. The simple moments that are unplanned, unexpected that pierce the heart and soothe the soul.

The simple things when:

…you come home and your dog slobbers in your face slapping you with his tail.

…you get to take your shoes off

… you first sip freshly brewed coffee before the buzz of life begins.

…you laugh with a friend at an inside joke that only the two of you share.

…your scale congratulates you because the needle moved even a fraction to the left.

…the light turns green.

Ironically, it’s not the big events or the anticipated affairs, or anything that we do. It is the times that we connect that make our heart happy. How is it that we can be doing something grandiose, yet, if our hearts are disconnected in the midst of it, it is as if we are drinking day old champagne without the bubbles. The anticipated event falls flat, and we are left holding an empty glass that didn’t fulfill the promise of cheers!

The magic of simple things, when your heart is engaged…happy is sure to follows. It is an easy recipe. An uncomplicated question to ask: am I doing this or am I engaging in this?


Pulling my jeep up to the valet at the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach, I let out my mom who struggled walking…her new puppy who spazzed out with uncontrollable energy, and my own little 5 pound dog who inherited a limp after surgery. Quite the misfit entourage, the valet instantly understood my predicament and helped escort my hobbling group to the lobby.

Almost sunset,I had perfectly planned the best moment of the day to take the dogs for a walk on the beach, with an early dinner watching the sun disappear for the day.

Waiting to be seated with the hostess, I was greeted with disappointing news. What seemed like a brilliant plan to me, apparently was also for everyone else that day. The restaurant was packed. The tables were full. The waiting list was impossible.

Returning as the bearer of bad news, I couldn’t endure the anticlimactic letdown that we had to head home after the courageous trek here. “Okay, we can’t get in. But let’s not go home,” I said while waiting for Plan B to miraculously pop up. Seeing the steps leading down to the beach I quickly improvised. “Okay, Why not eat right here? Put a towel down on the landing, order some appetizers, and stay?” Trying to convince myself of the oddity of camping out on restaurant steps, albeit as restaurant goers passed through our makeshift picnic, was definitely weird, but I held my ground

And so our concrete table became the simple thing in life. Not in a great restaurant, no fancy entrees, just a simple private improvised picnic on the steps.

Simple life. Spreading out our to go picnic on beach towels, we laughed as the puppies now ran (and limped) chasing the skim boarders who now chased the waves.

The interruptions as people came up and down the stairs stepping over our picnic spot, though embarrassingly funny, ironically, served as an ice-breaker for chance meetings and great conversations. We shared in the mystery of sunset, where strangers on the beach instantly become friends, and dogs of all sizes joined a pack like an unspoken peace treaty.

"Indeed, the simple things. When you relish the moment, let your hair down, look like a mess, do things that are socially unacceptable because you want to, and connect with people you never would have otherwise."

Though the sun set I wasn’t ready to leave the ocean sounds, the smells, and the lighthearted laughter. “Hey mom" I laughed, "want a plastic of wine?”

Walking back into the restaurant, where the land of the privileged wined and dined with dinner reservations, I laughed to myself. Funny, they are the ones that are missing, too far removed from the simple things of life. Thankfully, I now appreciated that there were no empty tables. I even thought about amending my life motto from Go big or Go home…to just maybe sometimes…Stay small and Be happy.

Walking up to the bar, I ordered my drinks. “Can I have two glasses of Pinot Grigio in plastic cups for the outside steps please?” Giggling while holding my wine in plastic, I thought as I strolled past the tables:

Isn’t life better when you live more simply? When fun takes precedence over pompous? When you sit back and enjoy the ride. Isn’t living in your heart better than living on the outside of it?

I returned to our concrete table with front row seats of the ocean view, “Here you go madam,” I laughed, “ a plastic of wine.”


It’s in the simple things where the best part of life is found, in the magic of the moment.


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  • Have you ever experienced the magic of an unplanned moment?

  • What is the simple thing in life that you cherish?

Lisa Hamilton/ The Hamilton Post

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