Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Little Wonders

Our lives are made in these small hours - these little wonders - these twists and turns of fate. Time falls away, but these small hours - these little wonders still remain.

Back in June 2004 I had the opportunity to participate in a tour at Disney World called "Dolphins in Depth." The three hours was devoted to learning about the dolphins, their anatomy, their training sessions, and their conservation (and conservation of marine life in general). Approximately 30 minutes of those three hours were spent in the water with the dolphins. I had always wanted to simply touch a dolphin. Touch one, that's it. And here I was, in a wet suit, in the water with two dolphins. There were eight of us on the tour and we split into groups of four and each group was with one dolphin. While my group was rubbing down a dolphin, he opened up his blow hole and sprayed me in the face. A couple of teen girls from the other group saw and were "eww"-ing themselves to death, while I stood there laughing and smiling. We all received photos of us and our dolphin and after the tour ended I told Wes that nothing could ruin my day. I couldn't stop smiling and my cheeks hurt tremendously. When I brought the photo to work after returning home, one of my coworkers commented on how truly happy I looked. I can honestly say that it was one of the happiest moments of my life and thinking back on the experience still brings tears to my eyes. Some people have looked at me like I am crazy..."it's just a dolphin and it was just 30 minutes!" But it's a really big deal to me.

I have wasted too much of my life looking for the next grand moment...the moment that will sweep me off my feet and take my breath away. You know, the moments that are Grand Canyon-like where my husband all of a sudden transforms into the hero from some chick flick where everything he says and does is perfect. But that isn't reality. The reality is that my husband and I are both sinners and we don't have someone writing a script for us where we can always say the right things at the right time. My life isn't a series of one grand event after another. It's a series of small events that have grand meaning in my heart. Yes, there are grand events that have happened in my life that were truly some of the best moments of my life. Getting married would be one of them. But I've also found that I need to pay attention to the little moments...the moments that may mean nothing to someone else or may not last very long. I can't let the moment pass, I need to treasure them because I can never go back in time and relive that moment. Sure, I may have similar experiences in the future, but I will never relive that exact moment in time.

I am camera happy and one of my favorite photo subjects are my guinea pigs. I spent about an hour on the bed with Eggnog one day as I snapped photos of the two of us together. Not the easiest thing to do when you're holding the camera with one hand and you have a critter who is anxious to explore. So many of my pics came out blurry. But I love them because it captured a moment we had together...a moment that I felt peaceful and happy. My favorite picture of that day was captured right when he licked my nose. It's horribly out of focus, but I don't care. I will never forget the feeling I had when he turned to kiss me. The same is true for the little moments I share with Wes. I'll never forget the feelings I have when I get an email from him, or he picks a little flower for me, etc. Those moments just seem to make the bad go away.

Grand moments are awesome, but it's the little moments that make up most of our lives. We need to focus on them, not ignore them while waiting for the next big thing. Don't just stop and smell the roses. Study that rose, know it, remember it....cherish it.

All of my regret will wash away somehow,
but I cannot forget the way I feel right now.

Dolphins in Depth photo by Disney

Eggnog & Mary photo by Mary
"Little Wonders" lyrics (in italics) by Rob Thomas


david mcmahon said...

The true beauty of Nature lies in perception. What an amazing experience.

Here in Melbourne, we can swim with sharks and manta rays - but I haven't jumped in - YET!!!

Lee said...

Hi Mary,

What a beautiful post and smile. Thank you for sharing this. You are so right about making the most of those little moments.

Congratulations on making David's post of the day list!


Jeni said...

Thanks to David McMahon's directions, I made my way here today. Loved your post as it is really the little things that make up the most important stuff of our lives.

Mary said...

David, what an awesome experience it would be to swim with sharks and manta rays! Also at Disney World, there was a "float" (not really a swim since you just kind of floated around) where there were very small sharks and some small stingrays. I remember feeling so peaceful. You should definitely jump in, I'd love to hear about it!

Lee and Jeni, thank you so much for stopping by and for your comments! Ever since making this post, I've really tried to stop and focus more and more on those little moments. Amazing what a blessing they are when we really pay attention to them, isn't it?

david mcmahon said...

Hi Mary,

It's interesting that you close this post with the exhortation ``Study that rose''.

I often photograph roses and I've just posted a shot of one ....

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

God bless