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Once in a Lifetime

When we think of once-in-a-lifetime events, we often think big: a grand celebration, a journey, a miracle, maybe even a tragedy. Or maybe we recall the solar eclipse that attracted a group of complete strangers around someone’s pinhole camera in midtown Manhattan. (I was one of those strangers.)

Truth be told: the idea of something happening only once in a lifetime used to stress me out. I felt pressured to remember every detail of something that would soon be over. We take pictures so we don’t forget; but if we’re too busy taking a picture to experience it emotionally, we may remember little more than, well, taking the picture.

Maybe we shouldn’t set our expectations so high. Isn’t every day once in a lifetime? Embracing a sense of wonder each day seems all but impossible as we race through the endless redundancy of métro-boulot-dodo. It requires a conscious decision to stop and take notice of a simple flower or a leaf or an insect we’ve seen a thousand times before, to take just 60 seconds to study it up close for the sole purpose of appreciating it. We can create our own once-in-a-lifetimes right here, right now. They don’t have to be grandiose, but when they are….

John Muir said:

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

A good look at it. 

No, really:

Look. 
At it.