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When I was seven years old, my dad took my brothers and me to an amusement park.
As always, it was unexpected. We were never told when or where we were going; however, we were asked to get dressed, neater than we were. That was always a signal that we were about to go somewhere.
My aunt and uncle, along with our cousins, were visiting. It was an exciting time, and I loved experiencing being in the present moment of it. I felt so alive with the energy of not knowing what to expect but trusting in the good feeling.
My dad was in a happy mood, and we all had fun that day.
My greatest memory of that day was not about anything or any particular moment we spent at the park, because frankly, I can’t even remember. No, my memories are based entirely on what I felt. I was so happy and alive. I was excited for every moment, and whatever was next. It felt joyfully endless. There was this innate feeling that whatever came next would be good and wonderful.
As the day was coming to an end, I remember asking God to make the next day (tomorrow) as wonderful as today. I didn’t want the day to end.
It would be years before I came to understand that first-time experiences in the unknown play a hand in making present moment experiences so delightful. They are moments that, once repeated, can never be experienced the same way no matter how hard we try to recapture them.
I suppose that’s why photos mean so much to people. They manifest as a container of time, or even better, a time capsule that holds the fleeting feelings and memories that no retelling can convey.
I’d like to think that when we surrender to the unknown, we permit ourselves these feelings to live in the present moment awareness, like a memory that’s unencumbered by the need to control the outcome. Maybe that is why we love babies so much. They are a constant reminder to live in the embodiment of present moment energies.