The Moment

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Twin Falls lies around a forty minute drive east of Bellevue, Washington. From the trail head, the path leads to views of three separate waterfalls. Yes, three. “Twin Falls” has a nicer ring to it than “Triplet falls.”

Image of the river

Focus too much on the hike to the falls and you might miss the side trails down to the Snoqualmie River. The river is cold (or “refreshing” as they say around here) and full of boulders big and small. If you’re careful, you can hop from boulder to boulder to reach an island that splits the river. Or you can sit back and watch others attempt it and fall in. That’s always good for a chuckle.

On a recent trip, I took my kids and their friends to this island. There’s a trio of elephant size boulders in the middle of the river off the tip of the island. To reach them requires a bit of foolhardiness and a compunction to wade into the water and fight a strong current. I am such a foolhardy compulsive so I ventured into the water to climb a boulder with a flat, but angled, top. The vantage point gave me a fine view of the river valley and the kids skipping stones down below.

As I sat there, I contemplated a random thought. Scenes like this are often used to set up a blog post (or “Medium piece” if you’re fancy). An author takes a story from their life, or a historical anecdote, and uses it to start a post. The story seems unrelated at first. What’s the point?

This is before the author employs some rhetorical wizardry and by the end of the piece, an important life lesson is revealed! Like a fine rug, the story ties it all together. It’s a pattern so common I consider it the calling card of the Medium post.

The thought struck me then, would this very moment serve such a purpose? Would a major life lesson reveal itself to me right now? Something I could leverage as social media fodder for the consumption of others. I pondered. And pondered. Nothing.

No life hack or societal lesson or philosophical truth revealed itself to me. Nothing I could sell for increased follower counts or “likes” or ad revenue invaded my thoughts.

No, I would have to come to grips that I had nothing at all to learn from this moment. Nothing to share. There, with the sun shining overhead, the river flowing around me, a breeze on my face, I would have to enjoy it for what it is. A moment. My moment. And just be present.

At least until I reached my computer.

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4 responses

  1. Avatar for pavlindrom
    pavlindrom August 17th, 2017

    A great piece, a masterpiece, this is.

    These thought patterns mimic mine at some points: "Is this really a turning point in my life? Wow, I do think I'll be able to point this moment out as the defining moment of my life." I think I've sort of started to live like a movie at some point, where only the important moments are worthy of attention. Thus I think that if my awareness is heightened, it is only so in the most important moments, while everything else - eating, sleeping, wasting time - is just filler content to wade through. Life becomes richer as I abandon all that, and accept every moment as equal, and every notion of imminent grandeur as foolish thought.

    Thanks for the nudge to think these thoughts.

  2. Avatar for Binary Worrier
    Binary Worrier August 18th, 2017

    Ah but the life lesson of the post is obvious, no?
    You're paraphrasing this quote from a sage old swami . . . "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it" :p

  3. Avatar for Daniel Lang
    Daniel Lang August 18th, 2017

    Beautiful. Very much enjoyed reading this.

  4. Avatar for haacked
    haacked August 18th, 2017

    Guess there's a lesson in everything if you pay attention. ;)