It’s hard to separate a moment out of 365 days, 8760 hours,525 600 minutes – because most of our lives are lived so unconsciously, on automatic pilot. Even the moments that should be precious and life-affirming go by in a blur because we are overwhelmed or distracted by everything else going on around us. As part of meditative practice, mind-focusing work, we are taught instead to slow ourselves down and bring awareness to every moment, even the most mundane, in order to truly notice our aliveness.
I have to admit, I’m horrible at slowing down, of being conscious of what is truly happening around and in me because I am so often caught up in my head to the degree that my eye doesn’t see and my ears don’t hear. And I recognize the problem in that we miss alot when we are forever living forward or backward, the moments that are truly important only recognized in hindsight when our memories cast them in the haze of reflection.
But there are times that I catch myself, remind myself to take in the moment that is happening because it is so grand and important – and one of those times this year was the moment of “I do” with Brian standing on the rocky ledge of Point No Point. On automatic pilot through much of the repeated vows, I managed to hold myself up for a minute to look deeply into Brian’s eyes, and hear the words as they came from my mouth promising my love undying, and my commitment fast. I took in the smile on his face, the wind caressing my neck where my hair was fastened up, the sea the provided a backdrop of waves beating against the lap of the cove. I took in the overcast sky like a comfort above me, and the salt on my lips as my mouth formed the words. And I filled up in that moment with the connection being made with this other person, and the world in which we stood so trustingly on a precipice above kilometres of ocean stretched out as far as we could see.
And then I pulled all that in, the memory like a kite straining to break off, and kept it close beside me as we walked across the little red bridge and through the muddy forest to where our wedding fire was lit. And even now, two and a half months later, my joy at being alive for that moment, for that day – returns to me in the most sterile of places.