Yesterday I bumped into my daughter’s mother-in-law on a sun-filled bay side path in San Francisco’s East Bay. She was taking our five month old grandson, Isaac, for a stroll, while I was walking with my dog, Kunie. Isaac was sound asleep. He’d probably been lulled to that happy snooze space by the constant rhythm of the wheels rolling along the pavement, the soft breezes off the water and the lapping of the tiny waves on the shore.
We stopped for a few minutes and commented on the warm, sunny weather. I told her how fortunate I felt to be able to walk this path with such an incredible view, knowing that every step that I took would bring me closer to a day when it wouldn’t be possible. Fleeting.
This wasn’t the only time I’ve felt that sense of impermanence. It happens unexpectedly, with a multitude of visual cues. The feeling itself isn’t one of despair, rather it’s recognizing or appreciating the significance of the moment or the thing in my life, in someone else’s life, in society or in nature.
Whether I’m correct about the moment’s relationship is unimportant, and I have no idea why this fleeting sense happens. I’m guessing here: maybe it brings me closer to the world at large – because the world and all that it entails is so vast that I’m overwhelmed at times and feel disconnected. The recognition of the fleeting moment draws me in, brings me closer and makes me feel included in the grand scheme of things.
Yesterday, I watched Joann’s wavy, greying hair fly softly about her face as she stood talking to me and I thought to myself: her hair will not be that length or that color when I see her next.
Now that may, or may not be true. But for a moment, I felt connected to Joann, to the scenery, to the place more than any amount of conversation.
I’ve heard people say that they love it when friends feel comfortable enough to have silences while they’re together. I wonder what’s happening? Are they getting the sense of fleeting?