You step in the stream, but the water has moved on.
I thought of this while lying on the floor with my 29 year old son, looking at the stars and the intermittent fireworks breaking the night sky from the warmth of our living room floor, our heads propped on a giant pillow in front of an expanse of windows, our voices quiet with wonderment. What’s out there? We are so small, spinning through galaxies, living and dying, embracing tiny sands of time that slip away with each breath. We can never make a memorable moment or lofty experience last. Everything is fleeting, winging its way to decay the moment it is born; what should we fear?
The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is: There’s no ground. *
I said to my son…”there will never be another moment like this. It is 2012 and here we are, together, experiencing a moment that will never come again.”
With that simple declaration, the moment expanded, albeit temporarily, and it felt huge and delicious, even miraculous. Recognizing reverence for the beauty and wonderment of “just this, right now”, I got a tiny glimpse of an ordinary, everyday experience that inflated my awareness of what was right there in front of my face. Moments I probably wouldn’t have noticed had I not paid attention; had my mind been roaming in the usual repetitious and familiar territory other than present time. No need to compare experiences of the past, or desires of the future. Time stopped, or slowed down a bit and I had a chance to relish the ordinariness of the “now”, which in reality, is pretty extraordinary. I realized that to “voice it out”, to speak of the moment plainly is like praying, the way ritual brings us all into a common, focused moment in time.
As is fairly typical in our neck of the woods when “old man winter” dumps crazy amounts of snow, we were greeted with a power outage that lasted for hours, up and down the valley. Everyones’ lights were out, and pretty soon hazy glows of candlelight emerged from neighboring windows. We lit candles, powered up the wood stove, and sat in the dark and talked. Are we really in the year 2012? It sounds so…oh, I don’t know…futuristic. Change is like a revolving door, ever spinning, a new idea making a few go-rounds before being spit out…obsolete. We get a good foothold in the stream, and in a flash the stream changes course.
Well then, so be it.
I have only one desire this year, and that is to remember that there is nothing more worthy than this hour, this moment, this breath…
each and everyday.