What I now pursue are perfect moments. It can happen anywhere. And a moment is an inexact measure of time...it can be a few seconds or a few hours, or more. The length of time neither enhances nor diminishes its perfection.
A few mornings ago, the season abruptly changed from late fall to early winter. Feeling a chill in the house, I grabbed my sunglasses and my Kindle and headed for the front porch where the morning sun was strong and bright. The metal chair was warm and as I sat down it seemed to envelope me in heat. It was completely quiet but for the thrum of a hummingbird and a light breeze ruffling the bushes. I drew in a deep breath and realized that I was living a perfect moment. From inside the house I could hear Vivaldi playing softly, and I felt all my senses sharpened. I noticed things I might have simply brushed by. In the modest garden, the plants were pulling back to prepare for winter, the summer’s vibrant colors now gone to drab. The butterfly bush now vacant and dry will be back in the spring. Those pink flowers whose name I can never remember are gone too, but I know they are still there, resting as they deserve to do. Gracie and Alfie sat quietly by me, content for a while to let the birds fly and the bugs crawl without feeling the need to chase or bark. I wanted to freeze the moment.
To be sure, there are life’s perfect dramas, such as the birth of a child, a wedding, a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, a family reconciliation -- precious and welcome when they occur, but rare. The perfect moments can be as mundane as finishing a long put off project, baking a pie that, for once, looks like the picture in the cookbook, as deeply moving as an intimate conversation with a dearly loved friend or sitting in a darkened concert hall listening to a sublime performance of a favorite work.
Perhaps it has to do with adjusting one’s expectations. To live more consciously is to find many more moments to appreciate fully, or as someone put it “it’s not about having what you want; it’s about wanting what you have.” Tom is a good example of that. His always cheerful spirit makes the best of every day, happy with the small world he inhabits. I am learning much from him. He seems to be unbothered by his lack of memory for the past, and focused instead on the pleasures of the moment.
I say to life “surprise me!” (And I mean that in a good way!) In the meantime, I think life wants me to find the perfect, sacred moments that are all around just waiting to be fully embraced. I don’t want to miss a single one.