Golden Moments

There are moments in life that can best be described as “golden.” Times when life feels perfect and all seems as it should be.

                I had such a moment several weeks ago when my daughter-in-law and her sister-in-law stopped by with their children. It was a lovely evening in late autumn, made all the more precious by the realization that it could very well be the last such evening before winter set in. The temperature was mild, and the wind was unusually still. We sat at the table on the patio while the children played in the yard. We visited and played pinochle accompanied by the sound of children’s laughter. It was utterly perfect. A moment I wished I could crystalize and keep tucked away to be brought out and enjoyed again and again at times when life does not seem quite so idyllic.
                I do not know how to generate such moments. They cannot be planned or forced. They simply happen spontaneously. I would not even know how to begin to go about trying to create one; their settings and circumstances are so varied that it is hard to pinpoint a precise situation which would produce one. They have come when my house has been filled with noise and confusion but also when it has been quiet and still. What stands out as characterizing them all is sense of being in the moment and a feeling of complete and utter contentment.
                I do find that these moments seem to be coming more often now than they did a few years ago when my house and life were busy with the demands of six children. Time was always tight, and I was constantly having to be thinking of what I needed to be doing next, and an hour from now, and tomorrow. It seemed that if I let down for just one minute, someone would go without being fed or changed or driven to an activity. However, I do remember a day when my youngest child was past the diaper stage and my oldest was just entering the chaotic teen years. On that day I wrote in my journal, “My life is golden.” That feeling did not last long, but the memory of it has.
                I am surprised now, when my children are all grown, that I am still very busy. The demands do not seem as urgent as they did then, but the fringe of my consciousness still seems to be constantly niggled by thoughts of things that need my attention. So I do not think it is the change in my circumstances that has prompted the golden moments to come more frequently. Rather I believe it is a change in me. I am now more willing and able to quiet the demanding voices and simply be in the moment.

                One of these moments came a few evenings ago. It was a frigid winter night, but I was cocooned in the warmth of my house and a cozy afghan. Soft Christmas music was playing and my living room was filled with the rosy glow of the Christmas lights my husband, Ron, had hung just outside the window. Ron was lying on the couch reading his book and I was in a chair reading mine. To anyone peering in our window it would have seemed quite unexceptional, and indeed it was. In fact, it seems to me that golden moments don’t often happen during the grand or dramatic moments of life, but rather in the everyday, ordinary ones. And herein lies the miracle--that sometimes in the midst of the mundane we find the sublime.


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