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Moments

March 5, 2013
Taken after tonight's "deep moment"

Taken after tonight’s “deep moment”

Tonight as I lay in bed with Trinity, my 8 year old, snuggling her to sleep, I began thinking about what makes moments so meaningful.  I remember thinking as a kid that there were certain experiences which might perhaps be considered “highlights”.  They were in the category of a roller coaster ride or getting a new bike for Christmas.  These were things you could sink your teeth into.  Really… you know, enjoy.  One summer my parents got a boat and we went every weekend to the lake.  We learned to water ski and knee board and just fly around that lake on the smooth, glassy surface of the water as the Oklahoma sun sank slowly behind the rounded hills of what used to be the Arbuckle Mountains.  That was ecstasy for a 14 year old who spent half his life either in a school room or at the handle end of a garden hoe or hauling hay or driving that big ol’ International Harvester tractor round and round and round, trying in vain to keep the hay dust out of his allergy-plagued lungs.  When it finally came my turn on the skis I’d make the plunge into the sun-warmed water, wait for the slack to be pulled out of the ski rope, get my ski tip positioned just right and yell “hit it”.  Then for the next few minutes, life was perfect. Just me and the water and the hum of the boat motor.

It was glorious.

But it was in the context of this glory that my mom would inevitably say something completely confounding.  “Mom, don’t you want to take a turn skiing?!?”, we’d exclaim.  “No thanks”, she’d say continuing to put some hot dogs on the grill, “I’m just enjoying watching you kids have fun”.

What?!?  We’re having the time of our lives out there and your “joy” is just watching US?!?  That was true insanity, I remember thinking.

Then I had kids.  Or maybe I grew up.  Or maybe I just got tired.  I don’t know.  But what I can tell you is that somewhere along the way my understanding and experience of what constitutes happiness got, well, different.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still love to ski.  I’ve sky dived and bungee jumped.  I’ve been to London and Marrakesh and Caracas and Nairobi.  And I’ve still got a lot of things I want to see and a lot of things I want to do, and I plan on doing just about all of them, if I live long enough to get around to it.  But what I don’t expect is that I’m going to do better than listening to Xandra giggle or Trinity laugh at a joke that I can’t believe she “gets” or talking into the night with Carissa about pretty much anything.  And tonight, laying there in that bed, I just got to thinking about that and why that is and the best I can do to wrap words around it is that has to do with depth.  Being pulled behind a boat at 40 mph is a wide thing.  It’s 8 minutes of adrenaline and sheer pleasure, but it’s not deep.  Without even thinking about it, you know that it’s all well and good, but it’s not important.  It’s not meaningful.  It doesn’t transcend the moment.  But those moments with my girls are fleeting.  They’re powerful and eternal.  What I say and do in those moments matters forever, and without even thinking about it I know that.

These moments are deep.

So tonight I hope you have lots of wide moments.  I hope adrenaline shoots through your system and explodes the pleasure center in your brain and you collapse onto the floor crying for joy.  But even more so, I wish you depth.  I pray that when you hear Depth calling depth out of you, like the roar of a waterfall, you will respond with anxious expectation, knowing that here, in the mundane, is something that matters into eternity.  These moments “count”.  These moments are the best we can get.  These moments are where life is found.

These moments are deep.

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11 Comments
  1. Irene permalink

    Another deep moment is when you know your children have learned to grasp the ‘deep moment’. That’s even better than enjoying it yourself. It’s something like the ‘grandchildren’ feeling. You’ve just given us the ‘grand-moment’ feeling. I’m glad you’ve put it into words. Dad and I enjoyed it more than you can know! And we’re still sorry about that hay work with all those allergies. We just didn’t understand what it was doing to you. But it makes good writing material.

  2. Beautiful. Deep. Understood. My own two little loves sure have shown this Mom a richer appreciation of moments.

  3. Wes Bartel permalink

    Don,
    Great (and deep) thoughts!!!!! You make this Father in Law and Grand Father extremely proud and grateful that you are the husband of my daughter and the father of my grand daughters!!!! Keep thinking deep!!!!!

  4. Yes! I call them perfect moments. I live for them. You write beautifully.

  5. steven permalink

    Don, this is your best post yet. It was deep, thought provoking, and challenging. Two thumbs up!

  6. regina girod permalink

    Don, I remember 1 particular trip to the lake with you guys. Must have been when you were just learning to ski. You came right up on the bank, across rocks and anything else in your way! It’s a great memory, and sometimes Heather and I laugh about it still!

    • I remember that well Regina. I’m still not sure how I survived that “moment” or for that matter half of the shenanigans we got into growing up! Thanks for the note!

  7. Perhaps you don’t realize that your life style is creating an adventure that can turn into a money maker for your future and the future of your children,with all the amazing stories you keep up with it will be a super read someday.Looking forward to it.Thanks for sharing your life.

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