There we were- me with my mom on one side, my five-year-old son and dog on the other – sprawled out on our backs in the grass (well, not the dog). The air was cool and the night enveloped us in a blanket of darkness. Around us we heard the occasional twig break, which would have been imperceptible in the daylight. The only other visible sign of life besides us were two bats that danced a tango as they passed not far overhead. This was all background noise, however. The main attraction were the stars painted in the night sky. Well, not just the stars; the meteors.
Whenever a meteor fell across the sky we’d shout, “There’s one! Did you see it?” My mom wondered aloud about the expanse of the universe and how we are but one planet in one galaxy. My son proclaimed he knew a lot about space but that “space is very complicated.” He talked a bit about how he wants to be an astronaut and how I could be one too. As we got up to head inside, my son spotted a red star which wasn’t a star at all – it was Mars (blew my son’s mind, by the way).
The air grew colder as my son and I drifted off to sleep under the blankets in the tent that was pitched in my parents’ backyard. At 2AM I was awakened by an owl. Its ethereal call drifted through the night as if it came from another world or plane of existence. Hours later, early morning light filtered through the tent. The sun blazed like the burning embers of a hot fire through the haze of smoke from distant wildfires. We wiped the sleep from our eyes and made our way into the house for breakfast.
Wonder, awe, and magic of the natural world came together to create one memorable night that I will forever keep close to my heart. I had shared a meaningful connection over something we were all in awe of. We marveled at the world outside of ourselves and recognized that it was way bigger than ourselves. It touched us in its own way yet we experienced it together.
Memorable moments don’t require us to spend money, travel far, or make grand gestures. They don’t have to come in exquisite packages with lavish trimmings. Memorable moments are created when we fully appreciate what that moment evokes. The most memorable moments in my life tend to unfold organically rather than be forced.
Think about the most (positive) memorable moments of your own life. What makes them so memorable? What feeling(s) arise when you think of them? How can you create more of them?
We should all be so lucky to have an overflowing box of memorable moments to sift through when we reach the ends of our lives.
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