Someone once told me that he felt life was made up of a few moments here and there with a lot of stuff just filling in the space between moments. I never liked that idea, to me it seemed a bit to like a waste, especially knowing how he defined moments: births, deaths, weddings, divorces, graduation, and retirement. Our faces carry the marks of those moments.
If that is the sum of your life, just after moments here and there and the rest just waiting for the next moment count me out. Or rather let me count my life in different ways than just those moments. It isn’t that I don’t have those moments, for I’ve had my heart stop in terror and pure peace. I’ve had my heart race with excitement and fear; yes I know that those moments are vivid in my mind. But I am constantly reminded that there is more in my life than just those moments, that each moment no matter how simple it may be counts.
Beloved’s call reminded me again today about the importance of cherishing ever moment, even if it is just sitting and listening to the birds. Not every moment need some of be huge to be special.
Beloved had a friend, we shall call him Mark, who frequently spends time in areas of unrest. It is part of Mark’s job and while it is exciting for him, as he has gotten older he has come to be more aware of the dangers or perhaps his own mortality, so the past while whenever Mark goes away he sends set check-in times for his friends. (Both of Mark’s parents died before he turned ten and he is an only child so friends have become his family.)
The most recent check-in for Beloved and Mark was two days ago. From talking to others who also have these check-ins, it became apparent that Mark has been unable to make any of the last three days. Given the area Mark is in, this is cause for major concern, so the friends all agreed it was time to call Mark’s employer and report him as missing. (In case you are wondering, yes this is one of those moments.)
It turns out Mark’s employer had already filed the necessary paperwork as he had missed an earlier phone call with them. Of course an adult is free to “disappear” if he wishes, but this doesn’t feel that way. If feels like my heart needs to speed up and slow down all at once. Every phone call, every email now has weight attached to it, weight that settles heavily upon us until we hear what the caller has to say or read that the email isn’t related to Mark. We are hoping this becomes one of those moments we remember without intense joy and relief, but already I can see the weight of things settling into lines on Beloved’s face. For now we will have moments of supporting each other and cherishing each other just a little more.