Tim the Time Travellin’ Tiger.
Tim was lounging in the warm sun when his brothers & sisters came over inviting him to go hunting.
“Come on, Tim! Are you coming or what?”
Waking from his daydream, Tim said, “Er, what? Go hunting with you? Might be a bit dangerous, mightn’t it? What if we get hurt by the animal we are hunting?”
“Nah, there’s enough of us, so we’ll be fine. We can take anything between the four of us. We’re strong and fit, sure to catch our prey.”
Tim mumbled and began shaking his head.
“Tim, come on!”
“Nah, you go on without me…”
Yet in his mind, he wandered off and saw himself confronting a deer. He lingered far from its position and lurked, prowling stealthily, getting closer, closer and closer still. Then he pounced, but the deer caught his furry skin with an antler, making him bleed. Oh, how he would bleed! Oh, how he would hurt! It would probably be best if he stuck just to eating termites, or the left overs which his brothers & sisters left him. This would be much safer. Wouldn’t it?
“Tim! Tim! Tim!”
“Are you coming with us? We’re going to watch the Bears get the honey. You coming or what?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Why not?” asked Tabitha, one of his sisters.
“Well, last time we watched the Bears get honey, those Bees flew out and I ended up getting stung by 2 or 3 of them. Nasty stings they were too! Took ages for the stings to heal – it really hurt, y’know!”
So, Tabitha and the others went off to watch the Bears get honey from the hive, at the cliff face at the edge of the forest. The taste of leftover honeycomb tempted Tim to go with them, but the vivid recollection of being stung by the Bees stayed in his mind, thus he decided to stay behind. It was much safer here and there was no anxiety, no danger and it was warm in the dappled sunlight and the taste of honey was diffused by the scent of the flowers & trees. It was cosy here, comfortable and nothing bothered him.
“Tim? Tim? Tim!”
“Tim!” Tiberius, the team leader Tiger, was looming above the curled up cat who was murmuring in his daydream.
“Tim, you don’t seem to do much these days, do you? I mean you don’t go hunting, you don’t play much with the others, don’t go here, don’t go there; you don’t seem to do anything!”
“Well, I think about doing things, but when I think about the things I might do, I think of all the things that might happen as a result.”
“What do you mean?”
“If I go hunting, I might get hurt and if it’s to play fight, I might also get scratched or bitten too hard. If I go watching the Bears get honey, I might get stung by stray Bees. If I go to climb a tree, I might fall. If I try to…”
“…enjoy yourself, you might find yourself enjoying something?” finished Tiberius.
“What do you mean?”
Tiberius sat down and looked at the young cub.
“It seems to me, young Tim, that you are some sort of time traveller.”
“A time traveller? How?”
“Well, you travel backwards in time remembering the things of the past & travel forwards in time seeing what will happen. Why don’t you focus on what’s happening now? For if you live in the past, or in the future, you miss what’s happening right now. And right now, you’re missing chewing on the leftover honeycomb that the Bears found. You’re missing the adventure of being with your brothers – Ty & Titus – and your sisters – Tabitha & Tigs, as they explore the forest on their way home. Think of the fun they are enjoying right now…”
Tim paused and thought about what Tiberius had said. He was always living in the past and the future, never fully experiencing the moment, now, fully.
“So how do I stop time travelling?” asked Tim.
“One of the best ways to stop travelling through time is to breathe.”
“Yes, breathe. What you do is stop everything and focus on breathing. Notice the breathing in, the breathing out. In & out, in & out. Then make a note of what you can hear, what you can see, what you can feel.”
“So notice my breathing, in and out, then notice the things I can hear, see and feel?”
“Yes. Be mindful of what is actually happening around you, for when you do this, you are experiencing this very moment and not the past, or the future. It is only in the moment that you can do & experience anything new. It is only in the moment that we can do anything.”
“Anything?” said Tim.
“Yes, anything! You can’t do anything yesterday and you might not get to do anything tomorrow, so you need to do things today, this moment, right now. Make new memories, explore new futures, all from now & remember:
“Leave yesterday’s fears in yesterday
And future’s fears for tomorrow.
Take time to enjoy today for what it is.
As worry never pays back what time it borrows.
Always be mindful of where you are
Whether it’s past, future or present.
For the future doesn’t yet exist
And if you’re in the past you will miss –
out on what’s happening at present.
It’s a blessing to have the freedom to see,
And choose which period of time you will visit.
Yet, be mindful of what time is in your mind,
for if you’re not in the present, you’ll miss it!”
Tim got up hurriedly and ran off.
“Where are you going?” asked Tiberius.
“To get some honeycomb before they eat it all,” said Tim, as he scarpered off to join his brothers & sisters.
Written by Sougen.
For my nephew, Rufus.
“Mindfulness & Meditation for children. “