It has taken a long time for me to figure out that nothing in life is permanent.
But alas, this is just what makes everything so beautiful and yet so painfully worthwhile all at once.
The innocent look in your child’s eyes, that knowing glance on your lover’s face after a tender exchange, the melancholy way that your parents recall stories and adventures about when they first ventured out into the world as a young you . . .
This is what makes life so rich, fulfilling, unbearable at times, and yet so passionately searing and melancholy.
If we knew that all loves were lasting, unchangeable, and never able to fleet heavy and adventurously away from us at any given moment, we would not feel both the pain and joy so fiercely as we are able, and at each moment that we are given the chance.
I first discovered what I call the gift of impermanence when my infant daughter’s life hung in the balance, and yet I felt more balanced at that moment than any time I can recall, even more than the first time I inhaled life’s first full-souled breath.
Suddenly, time had frozen as if a million wall clocks had stopped all at once in perfect unison on this middle eve while they beckoned me to notice even the stillness of their second hand’s.
Her feline blue eyes glimmered like 10 knowing pools of fresh-laked springs, as if she were saying to me, “I am here now.”
Not even a year old, her heart-soul fell into my eyes, as we understood that if we only had this one moment left together, we were blessed more than if we were able to share a million colder winters together as mother and daughter.
But she did live, this miracle-child . . . and she did grow up to speak, to sing and to tell me each morning about the dreams she had the night before.
And like all other nights since this sunlit-beaded song, I have lain in the darkness to whisper countless blessings for the gift of her forever presence, instead of for only a memories passing in the dusk’s full wane.
Because of this life and near death-altering experience, even memories seem like a gift of the present, taking me flawlessly back to whatever state I have been in as they envelop me in a being of wonderment and presence.
Before this moment, I lived my life in a state of fear. Fear is what your life basks heavily in when you rush from one experience to another without allowing yourself to captivate a solitary moment’s peace or folly while you are in it.
I have loved much and lost much since this epiphany, but for each wreckage of despair, and for each bright-faced moment, I am now both thankful and aware of the present, and that has made all of the difference between living a life filled with pain and living a life rich with wonderment and continual awakening.
If we knew all hearts were song-filled for us for evermore…
We would not listen quite so closely
We would not give a tender kiss for quite so long
We might not water the first apologetic gardens that crowd our every sense and sensibility . . .
And we might not share in what we are mired exquisitely in, and in the miracle of what is the present and everlasting, if only in its short and quiet slitted-moment.
It takes a long time to figure this miracle out, but once you do, all becomes magical because you know that it is, and because you become mired in the wake of your own spiritual presence, and in its infinitesimal and sheer timeless essence.
Take a look around at all that you have, at all that is here now before you, and at all that you can see and hear and feel.
Because it will all be gone soon, love it all now,
Because your days and sheer-winded moments will soon be no more
Because your children will remember not just the springs and summers,
But the frosted Winters and crisp-chilled Autumns.
Dare to live in your own skin and feel your own warmth,
Dare to cry with pain and joy until you have nothing left
Dare to love fearlessly in all that you are, so you never regret,
Dare to live in the here and the now because you can.
You are a miracle because you are alive now to read this,
Here, right now, to either lash out with laughter or anguish.
If you are here now and learn to love your present self,
You may just receive love back in ways you have never allowed yourself to dream.
I have realized this dream.
Now go and live it too.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
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