A ripple of regret dashes across my mind. The clarity of this moment lays bare the brevity of my life.
Have you ever been listening to a news story on the radio, or read an article online about a solar or lunar event that’s about to be visible in your area? A blood moon. An eclipse of some sort. An unusual proximity of the Earth to Venus, for example.
As you’re listening, the announcer concludes with a date or year when the event will occur next. Sometimes the date is far into the future. 2068. 2090. 2092.
This happens to me every so often. Then I do the mental math and quietly recognize that when that celestial event happens next, I’ll likely be gone. I’ll run more numbers in my head and figure out that my kids will be well past retirement. My grandchildren, which don’t even exist yet, will be nearing it.
When I was twelve, I figured out that I would be 35 at the turn of the millennium. It was exciting then to ponder the passage of time. However, now when I think that far ahead, the certainty of experiencing any milestone is not so assured.
I don’t mean to be depressing. I don’t write this to wallow, but to point out often it’s moments like these that cause me to intensely ruminate on my reality, my life, my time on Earth.
Am I doing what I want to do? Am I doing what I consider important work? Does every day serve a purpose? Even if it’s a small purpose, or even if the work seems of little worth, it should still be significant.
With that understanding, you’d think I would make a point to experience each and every celestial happening that comes my way. You’d think I’d stay up late to seize the moment and see those meteors that will never be this visible or frequent again in my lifetime. You’d think I would wake at 2:30 a.m. to gaze at that moon. But I don’t. Sometimes I do, but usually I don’t.
On those occasions when I don’t venture out, I instead silently acknowledge that this is indeed one moment I will not experience again.
A ripple of regret dashes across my mind. The clarity of this existential moment lays bare the brevity of my life. I suspect that one day I might wish I had made the effort to see the rare events of the night sky.
When that day comes, will I instead be content? Will the purpose and significance of my life, despite those moments when I choose not to observe the heavens, offset my occasional apathy and indecision?
When that time comes, I intend to answer “Yes.”
Thanks for reading this little “slice of life” post. If you found this interesting, click “like” so others may more easily find it. Feel free to leave a comment? Does anyone else skip out on the “last in my lifetime” heavenly events?