On Tuesday, November 14th at around 8:30PM, I looked up and saw a fireball race through the sky. It was the largest, brightest meteor I’ve had the privilege of seeing with my naked eye – an optical illusion that caused it to appear as though it were as close as the tree line. I waited for impact, but it never came.
It wasn’t until the next day that what I saw was confirmed – an astronomical anomaly. Luckily, my neighbor was with me and witnessed it, too. I’m usually in bed at that time, but that night, at that exact moment, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and witnessed an extraordinary sight, a miracle.
Earlier that day, at about 3PM, I’d climbed a mountain. I sat at the top, alone, surrounded by dragonflies humming around the sparse vegetation amidst the rocks. I watched as a flock of birds wove around me, suturing an invisible cut in the sky — their wings slicing through the gentle breeze, a sound so crisp I can’t find the words to articulate it. My senses were entranced as I sat still, listening, peering into the moment, in awe.
The more I pay attention, the more miracles I experience – the geese who travel the skies at the same time each morning and each night, together, honking with every flap of their wings. Or, sitting with my parents and the girls this weekend on my porch playing a game, laughing until our cheeks hurt; everyone is alive and healthy and happy, what a miracle. And this morning, sitting up and sweeping my legs over the bed, my feet connecting with the floor; I can move freely, without pain, what a miracle, too!
When I went to bed that night, after seeing the meteor, I thought about how we are surrounded by awe, by the extraordinary at all times. Witnessing the extraordinary comes down to timing and choice – are we willing to stay alert, awake, looking up and around at our lives? It’s up to us to see the meteors and the birds and the every day moments that often go unnoticed and un-witnessed.
Every moment of our lives is a once in a lifetime opportunity – every moment is a miracle and so are we.