Sometimes I Wake Up
Throughout my life I look back to certain moments when I was “wide awake.” I just knew it. You know when it happens.
I was in “flow,” “detached,” or even “enlightened.” However you want to say it.
I had no idea what caused these moments. I would attribute it to my social life being “on point.” Or sometimes it was caused by a religious “re-conversion,” and in the past that was to some form of Christianity. Other times when I woke up, it was from learning new things.
However, my two most memorable moments of waking up recently weren’t very memorable at all.
A few years ago, I was sitting outside at a local restaurant and brewery with my friend. I looked around at the evening sky, with spring breaking out all around. I felt a deep sense of joy and gratitude sitting there. I realized that a few years ago had I seen my current self, I would have said “David, you have arrived! Look at you!”
And, I realized two things right then and there. One, I didn’t feel this great sense of “arrival.” Two, I realized that I will never, ever, “arrive” because that is impossible, and what a sense of relief that was! To realize there was no overarching sense of “meaning” or “arrival” freed me to see every moment as amazing.
This morning I woke up again. I was simply driving down Fair Avenue, which I do many mornings. As always, I had my coffee sitting by my side, with some cream and stevia. This morning it was french vanilla. In fact, “vanilla” is a great metaphor for this morning.
I had just read a message from a young woman I kind of know who has a brain tumor, and I commented how she has a great sense of humor about that. Perhaps that provided some perspective, but I just met her the other day, so I don’t know.
The song “On Call” by Kings of Leon was playing on the radio. It’s a decent song, yes, but nothing spectacular in my book.
As I turned around the slight bend, I looked up and the whole scene in front of me came alive. The fall colors, the bluish morning sky, and the beauty of everything around me. My vision was wide and I felt a rush of joy and gratitude.
I knew this is it.
Perhaps it was a satori moment. Perhaps it wasn’t. I have no idea. But it felt good to be awake.
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