It’s that time of year again. This coming Monday my son begins his fourth and final year of band camp for his upcoming senior year of high school. When he began his high school marching band career four years ago, I did not realize it would rekindle the love of halftime shows and band festivals I once experienced myself. It’s not that my admiration for the art had ever really faded, but dormant memories of afterschool practices, Friday night football games, and Saturday competitions resurfaced for the first time in many years. Many times over the last three years I’ve mentally been taken back to playing stand tunes, loading and unloading buses, moving equipment, and anxiously awaiting to take the field for performance.
At one competition last fall, just as a band had taken the field and was about to begin, I heard a simple phrase I do not recall ever being uttered at a band competition. Once the PA announcer had given the command to enter the field in competition and the spectators had fallen quiet in anticipation, three little words were heard from the band director standing on the sideline, “Enjoy the moment!”
Those three words stuck in my head. I knew from experience all the work, energy, sweat, dedication, and effort required to get to this point. For the last three months the students had prepared and rehearsed meticulously every minute musical and visual detail yet to be revealed in the minutes to follow. A typical marching show lasts between eight and nine minutes and is the result of over two hundred hours of practice which many times consists of repeating the same thirty seconds of the program constantly for half an hour or more. Every second and every minute of rehearsal and each football game performance had been building to this moment and the final words of instruction are not, “Give your all!”, or “This is it!”, or “Remember . . . “, but simply, “Enjoy the moment!”
To enjoy something is to experience it with joy and find pleasure and satisfaction in it. A moment is an exact point in time. To enjoy the moment is to experience this point in time with joy, pleasure, and satisfaction. Put a different way, to “enjoy the moment” is to “be here now.” I’ve had a coworker once use that phrase as a password. At first glance, it seemed to indicate a lack of patience, but upon closer look it serves as a reminder to be present where you are.
For the sake of storytelling and narrative of this post, it would be amazing to write from the perspective of one who has conquered this idea. I can’t say whether anyone else in attendance, in the stands or on the field, was struck by the director’s words, but the image of that moment is etched in my memory. As awe-inspiring as it would be to write how it was a life changing moment and I have enjoyed every moment which has come my way since that blustery Saturday afternoon last October, to do so would be false and a lie. Still yet, the words echo in my head.
In the posts and weeks ahead, I intend to take a closer a look at what it means to enjoy the moment, why we often do not enjoy the moment, and exactly how we can truly enjoy the moment.
I look forward to the posts to come and sharing my thoughts with you.