Photo CC by Judy van der Velden

Anything dealing with time is hard to understand and explain.  It’s especially difficult to define what a moment is.  A moment can be a whole day:

She woke up early.  It was one of those nights where it was hard to define when she was awake and when she was asleep.  Was that a dream about Grandma standing up screaming, “I object!” or had she truly been concerned about it?  Either way, she was now up-up for the day – both truly awake and physically standing.  While meticulously putting mascara on each individual lash she looked in the mirror and smiled.  Soon she would look back on this day, the day she was a bride, and remember it fondly.  She would streamline each individual second and play back the entire day in her head as if it housed more than just a brain – a whole movie theater resided inside it, popcorn and all.  Years from now she would see herself crawling restlessly out of bed, fixing her hair and makeup, sliding into her dress while her mother and bridesmaids oohed and ahhed.  She would see herself walking down the aisle by her father’s side, starring at the face of the man she would soon be a part of, smiling as she confidently thought that their love would be stronger than any other couples in the history of the world.  She would see herself readily saying “I do!” and beaming as she heard him say that he did too.  She would see herself dodging the rice, running alongside her new husband, and speeding away in their ‘Just Married,’ can-clad car.  She would see herself dancing the night away in the arms of her best friend and remember this day – this moment – when it seemed like all was right in the world and that nothing ever again could go wrong.

A moment can encompass much more:

January passed by in a cold blur.  It made sense to him why his father would have chosen after the first of the year to die, but nothing else did.  Which is why he lied on the sofa every day for 23 days straight.  Technically 22 ½.  For much of the 6th he was attending the funeral and the lunch – the one that the church ladies put on for every grieving family – which followed.  The entire month went by slowly but quickly – a moment he would forever try to forget but always remember.

But often times a moment contains infinitesimal time – a minute, a second, perhaps even less than a second:

He could remember the .03 seconds well.  He had been in the lead the entire 100 meters – the entire 9.4 seconds beforehand!  And then, directly out of a superhero comic book, Walters came up.  They were suddenly shoulder to shoulder (albeit three lanes away) for the final 5 meters.  Who was this guy even?  No one had ever heard of Ryan Walters before.  All talk was reserved for himself and lane 5 – the quickest two guys in the state.  Yet here came this nobody and in less than a half second snatched away his deserved glory.

Moments clearly can be gifts or letdowns.  Each moment in a person’s life may be one that is eagerly looked back on or readily forgotten.  Moments can be monumental or minimal – written down in history or quietly lost to it.  Whatever the case may be, moments matter.  Even the smallest moment can alter the destiny of the world.  And that is why we must live in the moment.  Seize the day before it is snatched.  Carpe diem.  Every moment.


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