The big question is, “When do these moments happen?” They happen, I believe, when we exhale. Exhaling is a bigger event than we give it credit for. We have thousands of them a day and are not guaranteed another, so we must notice what is happening when we expel the life giving air we take for granted.
When meditating, you concentrate on your breathing. Also, when trying to control one’s emotions breathing is important. I have noticed that when I am most stressed, my breathing becomes very shallow and if I focus, I’ll feel better. Breathing is a regulator for our bodies, and the physical time marker of what is happening around us.
The final scene in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town summarizes the idea of fleeting moments very well. The main character, Emily, has passed away but asks to go back for just one more day. When she does this, she sees how people treat life and it is too painful for her to bear. She says, “It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another.” Then she asks, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?” Sadly, we don’t. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
When we slow down enough to notice what will be the final event of our frail lives, I believe we will also notice each second of the precious moments we will never get back. Wiping your child’s face and kissing your spouse will take on a deeper meaning as you consider its place in your life.
The exhale is the final thing we will do on this earth, and unless we notice the moments when they happen, they will simply get blown away with each breath until our final moment occurs. You shouldn’t have to wait for a sixteenth birthday or an anniversary. Treasure and wonderment can be found each day.