Sometimes I wonder if it is really true that we can count the exact moments something truly significant happens in our lives. I know in my life this appears to be true. Those moments for me seem to revolve around loss, death, birth (or seeing my children’s faces for the first time and knowing they were meant to be a part of our family) and really intense conversations such as when B said he may want a divorce. They are moments in which I can still recount conversations, almost word for word, and the feelings that accompanied those exchanges. I remember the smells, the background noise, and the stillness of the air as the force of the words hit me; sometimes driving me downward and sometimes making me soar. Pain and joy are what I have found at these times; usually one or the other but rarely both.
I have come to understand that we recognize these momentous moments because they seem to have a life of their own, rising up to meet us, with the force of a tsunami, and we have no choice but to acknowledge their arrival. For me, recognition has often come in the form of a swift deep ache in the pit on my stomach which threatened to drop me to my knees.It can happen with a look or with the first word. I can count on both hands those moments which sent a shiver up my spine which then exploded into my brain. A realization that something was about to change because of what I was experiencing or witnessing right before my own eyes and the fear that often accompanied it.
Yet, as I have aged I have also come to see that sometimes we only recognize the significance of these momentous moments later on down the line in our lives. Those for me are the hardest…these later recognitions because often I think I would have chosen to do things differently or respond in a different manner if I had understood how life altering that space in time would become later on. This recognition is making me examine how I respond to things NOW so I don’t miss those really important and few chances that we have to step on a different path in the future because of how we behave in those moments of the here and now.
Sometimes I wonder if it would be better or worse to have more of these momentous moments. Would they come mundane if they were to occur more often? Would we fail to feel that deep love or sense of failure if these occasions showed up in our lives too often? Would we forget that sense of appreciation? And if these moments only happened once in our lives would we always wonder if THIS WAS THAT MOMENT and never just live in the moment? Would we feel a sense of disappointment if that was all there was and we knew there were no more possibilities for these moments to occur?
I don’t have the answers to these questions but this I know…that whether we look for these moments or not and whether we recognize them for what they are; they are the moments that invite us to change if we just have the courage to do so. How we respond is up to us and so is what we take away from these times. We have the power to make these moments whatever we choose and we also know that because life is fluid how we view them in the future may be quite different than in the past. And lets hope that we give them the attention they so deserve.
Copyright CLD 4/4/16