Sight is one of the most wonderful things we have been blessed with. Colors, textures, all play a symphony with our senses. There are many things I have seen in my 51 years on this rock, some of which have left an indelible impression on me:
- Birth – watching any birth leaves me we with some sense of renewal and hope. The birth of my son is something I will never forget. I was truly humbled to hold such a precious gift in my hands and know that I had a part in his arrival. The scary part is looking down on that innocent soul knowing that life had a bigger meaning.
- Getting married – Standing at the head of the chapel and watching the love of your life walk down the aisle is both awesome and terrifying. You stand upon the brink of a major change in your life and you are both excited and scared shitless. I had a million thoughts running through my head at the time, one of which was: “Don’t screw this up.”
- Death – watching a loved one die is something that that we all must face, but are never prepared for. Recently, we put our dog Shadow to sleep and I had to look him in the eyes as he slipped away. That memory still haunts/pains me to this day and I don’t think anything will ever make it go away or less painful.
- Sunrise – I have seen the sun rise from the top of the Tooth of Time at Philmont Scout Ranch, New Mexico, and it is a humbling experience. Sitting on top of a peak at 9028 feet at 0500 in the morning while waiting for the world to wake up is awe-inspiring. I’ve had the pleasure/luck to do it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat.
- Sunsets – I’ve watched some spectacular sunsets when we were in Hawaii. I don’t recall a bad sunset, but some were downright photogenic. Nothing like ending a day with a Mai-Tai watching the sun set over the ocean waves.
- Accomplishment - Watching your child accomplish a major feat – I don’t care if it is watching them walk for the first time, score a goal, hit a home run, doing their marching band routine or watching them graduate, seeing your children succeed makes all of the trials/tribulations/frustrations worth it. I’ve see the highs and lows and been with him every step of the way and the only thing I can say is I am proud of how far he has come. I’m not sure which gives me more pride: Watching him graduate high school top of his class with honors or getting awarded his Eagle Scout rank. He’s done a lot in his short life and I am confident he will succeed in any task he undertakes.
- Tragedy – with today’s media/communications, we’ve seen tragedy on display that seems to leave a mark on us. Somehow, we can recall when and where we were when tragedy struck. When I was 5 years old, I remember watching TV at home in New Jersey when they announced JFK had been killed. I remember standing in line watching the TV in the credit union as the Challenger blew up over Florida. I remember seeing the news reports at the office coming out of New York/Washington on 9/11. Images like these and others (2004 tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina & Ike) stay with me for a long time.
- Miracles – we’ve seen miracles. Not in the biblical sense, but miracles nonetheless. The recent miracle on the Hudson brings to mind that all news/events are not tragic or horrific. It was amazing to see a plane crash land into the river and everyone walked out alive.
- Joy – Have you ever seen joy? Joy in the face of an athlete when they win a race. Joy in the face of people who graduate. Joy in the face of a child. Joy in the faces of newlyweds. Joy when you accomplish a major task. Nothing is more inspirational than to see someone beam with joy (even if you do not know them).
- Terror – ever seen something that scared the snot out of you? As an amateur roller coaster rider, I’ve crested the top of a few hills and looked down and questioned my sanity. Sitting on the precipice always gives me a chill. I’ve done a few things in my short life that have pushed the boundaries (rock climbing, rappelling, flying, parachuting) that have given me that adrenalin rush. As a young Army Lieutenant, I had the privilege of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and can tell you that few things compare to standing in the doorway of a C-130 plan with a parachute strapped to your back as your roar over the fields of Georgia waiting for your turn to “exit the plane”. Driving the freeways at rush hour seems to pale in comparison.
Always drink upstream from the herd...