Immersive Experience

I’m at the beach, looking out at the ocean. As my mom pointed out, the horizon line is choppy and each wave is being attacked ferociously by the wind, causing a thick fan of mist to spray from it.

This morning, inspired by the rhythm and beauty of the sea, we talked about moments in life that become preserved (perfectly?) in our memories. Of course as mother and daughter we had some shared moments to talk about – and also some individual ones. I told mom about a moment I shared with a friend of mine on a backpacking trip, when we rushed to the tip-top of a peak called ‘Shining Rock,’ with just too little time before the sunset to search for and find out cameras in our wet packs. When we hit the crest of the mountain and emerged onto the quartz outcrop, the sun was breaking through the clouds in an array of colors and beams that took our breath away. It reminded me of the ocean in a way – like seeing underneath the water. The clouds set a soft horizon line over the expanse of blue ridges.

There was a moment in this moment when we both were exasperated by our lack of picture-taking devices – but then came the freedom. When ‘preservation’ with a camera is possible it’s hard to resist the fantasy that holding on to these moments in our lives is possible (oops, I guess this is a continuation of my explication on change). When preservation is impossible, say we don’t have cameras and we left our phones locked up in the car, immersion becomes possible. What are the ingredients of immersion? Dedication, curiosity, gratitude? I don’t know. I would say though, that those moments in life that we can never forget, are most likely ones in which we were not concerned with holding on.

Good Morning 2016

Even though I know it works, I forget that gratitude is a choice, like a lens you put into your camera to brighten the vibrancy. It always works, sometimes more than others, to heighten our focus on the present and make life something solid to hold on to.

During the two weeks I was traveling over my break between semesters, I slept on 2 different sofas and 6 different beds. The hospitality of my friends and family was heart rendering. I rolled in like a rambler and left full of good food, laughter, and strong coffee. I carried an increasingly buoyant load of love around with me from house to house. I am so exceedingly grateful that in my life I have people who I can feel connected to even when I’m miles away.

These are the people who bring a smile to my face as I’m falling asleep and whose very presence makes me feel healthy and whole. I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate the power of being present with each other, here at the start of this new year.