Several weeks ago, I posted about my desire to celebrate both big and small events in my life. Today had two – it was Veteran’s Day and it was also one of the few days with a numeric synchronization – 11-11-11. There aren’t too many of them, and I let last year (10-10-10) go by without even a note in my journals.
I wasn’t the only one to notice it. The artist, Mary Anne Radmacher, posted this lovely piece of art on her Facebook page this morning. She says:
even when numbers line up perfectly. . . every moment is both rare and unrepeatable
What a beautiful sentiment to go with today! I wrote her a note this morning and received her gracious response allowing me to post it on my blog.
So what was I doing on 11-11-11 at 11:11:11 am? I was sitting at my desk, looking at the trees turning a deep maroon, and the flag whipping around in the wind, and thought – it is good in my world right now. This moment was good, the day was good, I was feeling good, and life was good.
Will I remember this moment in a year, the year after, five years from now? Does it matter? Do I remember all the details of Christmas’s past? Do the pictures show enough to remember the small things? What were the presents? Who was happy? What special little things happened that made me so very happy for a little while? Who fought (oops, no, don’t want to remember that).
Yet, I do remember other small moments. Over ten years ago, my husband and I went out for dinner to a favorite restaurant not too far from our house. Thankfully I recorded it in my journal, although it took me several tries to find which year it happened:
We went to Hicks & McCarthy, sat in the window, and had a wonderful time just visiting and savoring our food (chicken breast for me; tilapia (a type of fish) for him; and desserts). I don’t know what made it so special, but it was like time had slowed down and our universe only consisted of each other. We watched the light fade into darkness. We watched joggers go by with dogs on a leash, couples walking as they talked, elderly couples who had trouble negotiating the stairs in and out of the restaurant, and young women standing by a car talking, not wanting to end their conversation and go their own ways.
And we just held hands, looked each other in the eyes, talked about his orchids, my job, issues of faith, what we saw on the news about the World Trade Center tragedy, and just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves being together. Even as it got dark outside and the restaurant’s dim lighting came to the front, we were aware only of ourselves and each other.
I’m sure that’s why we had dessert – we didn’t want the evening to end. We didn’t talk about anything particularly
noteworthy nor did we have to. We were comfortable together and that was all that mattered.
The object of today might have been to memorialize a few minutes that are not going to happen again, but as Mary Anne says, every moment is both rare and unrepeatable. It’s not possible to predict ahead of time which ones will be memorable enough to remember ten years later. But many of them area, becoming a string of pearls of remembrances.
Enjoy your days rare and unrepeatable moments. Or as the poet Mary Oliver says:
. . . what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Word for tomorrow – THICK. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.