One never knows when a moment may come

In this time of fear and stress and panic, sickness and death, heroism and cowardice, wisdom and stupidity, moments, brief moments, can stand out and take on outsized meaning.

I’ve written a bit about some of these moments I’ve noticed. The quiet that seems to have descended on all of us, some of which can be frightening, but some of which can be blissful. I’ve written about the comfort that can come from the most mundane moments in life, and how it can tether you to reality, and help you to keep from drowning in your own fear and panic and those internal voices that threaten to overwhelm you. I’ve written and will keep writing and keep publishing in the hopes that these small personal insights will help the folks that read them, help you all keep your demons at bay, as they help me with mine.

I’m a romantic slob. It’s a part of my nature. I cried in Star Trek II when Spock died. I watch Sound of Music sometimes and turn off my snark circuit, because sometimes you need to bathe in the catharsis of schmaltz. And deep down, I think the most cynical in us needs those moments, just to reacquaint ourselves with the fact that, yes, there is real beauty out there, and it’s okay to appreciate it. It’s okay, in fact, to let it overwhelm you. Even if it’s just for a minute or two, when no one’s watching.

I was walking the dogs and listening to my iPhone on my headphones. As I was passing under a tree, The Beatles’ Blackbird came on, and a bird above me was singing along with it. All through the song I stood there, entranced, the song and the birds on the track in my headphones singing along with the real bird in the tree above as the light was fading slowly from the evening sky.

It was such a powerful moment of transcendent, heart-stopping beauty, right now, amidst so much fear and suffering and death, I just burst into tears from the sudden loveliness of it. I stood there, listening to the bird and the song and a young Paul McCartney singing alone, accompanying himself on the guitar, tears literally streaming down my voice, overcome. Nature, and a bird, and a song, all combined just for a moment of perfection, and I was there.

And I wanted to share it. Share it with you all.

I hugged myself there, on the sidewalk, the dogs waiting patiently, the light still slowly fading, my eyes wet. I paused the music after the song ended and pulled off the headphones. The bird had stopped singing too, as if she had sensed she needed to acknowledge something too. There was a faint rumble of a truck on the road, a ways away. A runner turned into the road heading towards me. A squirrel gave me a look. The dogs waited. The world kept turning, as it does.

Life can be so hard sometimes. And then it can touch us, just like that.