Tuesday, March 1, 2011
There are brief, almost indefinable moments in time that pass within seconds yet stay with us forever. Within them are words, sights, sounds that often settle upon us as a whisper but echo as a thunderclap when recalled years later. If I could gather these moments and wrap them in a bow I'd present them to you as some of the best parts of me. Because not only do they feed my passion for life, they're the very reason for its existence.
We all remember the big events in our lives; the weddings, the graduations, the births. We remember them because they’re grandiose and their significance is obvious. The impact they have on our lives is easy to understand. But what about the times in between; does nothing life-changing ever happen or do we just not notice? Are we too wrapped up in the bigger things to savour the nuances, disguised as just another tick of the clock?
Like gems sparkling on an endless beach I stumble upon them most unexpectedly. They've appeared as a hummingbird. A yellow-tinted moon as big as the Earth sitting halfway on the horizon and looking like I could drive right into it. As the wonder I've found in a baby’s eyes. These moments appear as glorious visions like the girl in the white sundress, so many years ago, her body silhouetted in the sun as she walked towards me. In passing glances, winks and smiles. Sharing a shower the size of a phone booth with my wife. Reuniting with an old friend. Dancing in the fountain at a concert after security told us not to. Passionately making up with my girlfriend in a rainstorm. In seeing mountains for the first time. Through words of endearment from friends I’ve never met. Incredible, heartwarming words...
A friend of mine told me a story that beautifully illustrates all this. She was making love with her new boyfriend when a bead of sweat fell from his face, gently trickling across her neck. Her eyes were ablaze as she told me about it, it was one of the most amazing things she’s ever experienced. Why? Because at that moment they shared, everything was right for her to experience it. Everything came together to make what would otherwise have been insignificant very meaningful. Her reasons for reacting the way she did are known only to her, and if she hadn’t told her lover he would never have known.
If a tiny drop of perspiration can be this unforgettable, imagine the effect a few passing words or the most seemingly insignificant act can have. We'll never fully know the impact we've had on others but some people will go on to carry a part of us with them amongst their sweetest memories, looking back on some little thing we said or did with a contented sigh long after we've forgotten it. This is what breathes life into people, and allows us to shine from within no matter what darkness surrounds us.
When the day comes to look back on my life, I know that what will have made the trip worthwhile was the people I knew and life’s small gifts, those incredible moments that spurred me out of bed with promise and wonderment of what each new day may bring.