I swear, I was holding her in my arms and changing her diaper yesterday. Today, I saw her ride a bicycle for the first time. Tomorrow, I guess, I'll watch her graduate high school. I know that it doesn't end there, either. Our babies stop being babies before we are ready.
I will never forget the day she was born, the way her hair smelled when I held her for the first time. Her first step is like fireworks in my memory. The tears in her eyes when her grandfather died are also there in my mind, a precious reminder of life's fragility.
Mortality is a gift. By living lives that are a one-way journey from birth to death, we can know how much each moment matters. There is no rewind button that will allow me to really experience my child's first bicycle ride again the way I experienced it today. I cannot keep it safe in the TiVo of my mind to feel it all over again. We have the chance to know that what matters most in life, moment by moment, is what is happening right now. If, somehow, we could see time with God's eyes—seeing every moment in each moment—we would never know the beauty of now.
Today is the second anniversary of my starting this blog. It is a minor milestone, to be sure, but it is one that tempts me to look back at some of the 280 posts I've written over that time. There are little moments and big moments here. Each one was something that meant something to me—weddings and funerals, insights and discoveries, changes and chances. It is the stuff of life.
In some ways, this blog has served as a way for me to keep memories alive. I may not be able to relive powerful moments—and I don't think I would want to—but I can keep a reminder of how much they moved me, touched me, taught me, wounded me, or kept me.
Sharing those moments with you also is an interesting experience. In some ways, it is what being a rabbi is all about. I feel that it is a privilege to be present with other people in some of their most important life moments, and it is a privilege to have others share in my moments, too. By the most recent count, 21,220 unique individuals have visited this website. That's a whole lot of sharing.
That short video of a little girl will look quaint in twenty years, if it lasts that long. By 2033, the cars parked in my neighbors' driveways will seem like antiques and that girl on the bicycle will, God willing, be a grown woman. The immediacy of the moment—the sacred now—only happens once. It is our challenge and our opportunity to grab it.
Other Posts on This Topic:
One Year Later
Mas'ei: The Torah of Now