The Perfect Moment

Sometimes I wonder what is normal. Do other people have a Perfect Moment? In my 60+ years of living I have one moment that I always return to in times of despair, or panic. One moment of perfect peace.

Not that I panic or feel despair all that often. The last time was when I was getting an MRI of my head. Being strapped down and stuck in that machine freaked me out, but I took a deep breath and went to my Perfect Moment and felt better.

I’ll try to describe my moment.

* * * * *

It is late summer. The sun is low in the sky. I’m on my boogie board waiting for the perfect wave. There is no one else around. Just me, the waves and the sand. Maybe a couple of gulls. There’s a stiff wind blowing off shore. The waves are pounding; I’m surprised no one else is surfing today. But they’re loud, the crashing waves.

A good set rolls in. As the first wave passes under me, I sink into the trough behind it. The sun is so low that when I do, I fall into shadow. It gets dark and quiet. The wind whips spray off the lip of the wave, spray that catches the sun’s rays, forming a rainbow that dances overhead. It is so beautiful and peaceful that I forget about riding, and just stay where I am, falling into the trough, watching the rainbow above from the shadow below, then bobbing up as the next wave arrives so once again I’m in the light and hear the crashing of the last wave that passed. Then down again into peace.

I stay there until the sun sets, then ride a wave in and head home.

* * * * *

This happened… jeez, I’m not sure. Sometime in the mid 70s, putting me in my mid-20s at the time.

Just writing it down has me feeling calmer, and of course quite nostalgic. I hope you have a moment like this that you can travel to in your head when the here & now gets a little overwhelming.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

[The header image is one I took at Topsail Beach in North Carolina a few years ago. Sadly I have very few pictures from the old days, and I certainly wasn’t carrying a camera while I was surfing. Not back then, in the days of 35 mm film and when Go Pro wasn’t even someone’s great idea yet.]

3 thoughts on “The Perfect Moment

  1. Oh, wow, I’m glad it’s not just me. Had one also in my 20s or thereabouts.

    It’s a temperate afternoon moving to evening – not too warm, not too cold – in a cozy hillside apartment in California, with a gorgeous view of the city that rolls down into San Francisco and the bay in the far distance. I’m arms-deep in cold paper-mache, shaping and sculpting something I’ve been holding in my mind for a while now, trying to bring it into tangible reality, broad strokes, then smoothing out the imperfections, bit by bit, wet fingers gliding without friction, bringing details into existence.

    It’s nothing special, a modest school project that I needed to complete for a grade, but in that particular moment, it feels just right and I’m in flow. I look up and through the ceiling-to-floor balcony window, see the world just rolling away and unfolding to the horizon. The sunset sky with its deep spectrum of red, oranges and blues. Humanity beneath, with its architecture and its cities. There’s a thin shimmer of fog, but nothing obscuring. The sea and the sky and the world beyond.

    At that moment, flow transcends into a moment of pure connection. I am rooted with the earth through my fingers, wet with clay, and yet my mind is expanding with the sky to the horizon and I feel a deep sense of connection to -everything-, humanity, the earth, the past, the future, life, the universe. It feels right, more than alright, all is as it should be. It lasts only a few breaths, but it feels like forever, this one moment of perfect beauty and centeredness.

    I distinctly remember a tiny part of my brain looking in from the outside and whispering, “Remember this. Fix this in memory. There is something infinitely valuable here, and such moments like this do not come twice.”

    I wonder sometimes if such moments indicate something about who we are and what moves us and who we’re meant to be, or if we just get this one shot at peeling back the veil and looking beyond, to keep us going till we die.

    1. That was beautiful! Thank you for sharing your Moment!!

      That last sentence is going to stick with me for a while; that’s something to ponder.

  2. This is beautiful, and absolutely. It’s always those quiet moments when you’re struck with peace and the beauty of the world, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing. <3

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