I have discovered that redundancy holds truth like none other. There really is nothing compared to lying on the ground and taking a minute to stare at the stars, breathing in the fresh air. That minute inevitably turns into an hour and you don’t realize that you’re lying on the deck of your vacation home in Alabama next to a lakefront at 12:30 am. But that was me last night, and life really works in such a strange way. Halfway through senior year, stressed with impending college results and trying to make the most out of the last year as a kid, I finally found my moment of peace.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m so far gone or because underneath the thick layer of cynic the romantic in me managed to peek through, but I decided to sneak out to sit on the porch at midnight. My cousins were sound asleep, and the only adults who could have possibly found me were busy reminiscing about childhood freedoms in the heat of Indian summers, reconnecting over shared smiles in the house next door.
To be honest, it was strange having a moment where I wasn’t expecting to be found. These moments are truly rare in life, when you’re exceptionally alone but okay with it, in peace with yourself and the world for a brief second. The only companions I had were the lake breeze brushing through the marsh, enveloping me in its warmth, and the soft repetitive breaths of the lake as it settled into the night. The violet lights of the pool bounced off the roof tiles and gave the whole place a seemingly ethereal glow.
Ethereal. That’s the best word, to sum up that night. It was my Life of Pi moment, you know, the one where he’s finding an instance of happiness within the bioluminescence of the ocean, and feeling the vast untouchable magnificence of the world and his small place within it. Or at least that’s what I made of it, and I felt something similar that night. Lying down, my back pressed into the grainy wooden deck with nothing to see but the blue-black sky frosted with opalescent stars oddly was what I needed to put everything into perspective. It wasn’t just the usual “ego-slicing, “magically-knowing-your-place-in-the-world” feeling, but a “you’re-not-as-lost-as-you-feel”. I needed it. I needed to just pause and think about not thinking. Feel nothing but the breath in my bones and the steady, insistent vibration of my heart.
That one moment gave me the energy to accept that I wasn’t going the direction I wanted to and that I was and had been wrong about a lot of decisions in my life. As cheesy and pre-scripted as it sounds, it gave me the courage to move on, and to accept my life as it is. I finally realized what I really want and need, but could never accept, is change.
I don’t know if you can understand by just reading this, but if you’ve ever experienced anything similar in life you know, and appreciate the strength of small, ethereal, moments. The funny part is, I would never have thought I’d find that moment in such an arbitrary place like Alabama.
But I guess that’s life.