I remember this day five years ago when my husband and I were traveling in Alaska. We had just finished a sea kayaking trip out to a glacier, and we had been fortunate enough to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of actually paddling up to land that had been uncovered by the melting glacier and being able to dock and step out. We sat there, drinking hot chocolate, on land no human had ever stepped foot on before us. Boating back, the sun on my face, the water shades of blue I could never find the words to describe, I wished I could just bottle the entire moment. Soak up the feeling, the colors, the warmth of the hot chocolate and the sun, and keep it in a glass bottle on my shelf forever.
There have been a few other moments like this in my life, ranging from entire days such as my wedding day, to a snapshot of time where I thought, “Oh, this right here. This is nice.” I describe these moments as “pink, sparkly bubbles.” The indescribable feeling of perfect joy, being fully aware of my happiness.
If I take just a minute to think of all my pink, sparkly bubble moments, I would think of the big ones – Alaska sea kayaking, walking down the aisle on my wedding day, landing the plane for the first time on my own when I was getting my pilot’s license. Those glass bottles lining my shelves would shimmer in bright, bold colors, clear evidence of wonderful days.
The smaller moments, the pressed memories between the pages of my everyday life, are harder to recall. I said, “I hope I never forget this,” but it faded. Dusty bottles of muted colors of moments that made me feel, forgotten. That heavenly bite of cheesecake, an afternoon walk with a friend when I felt clarity, the sunset after a day of adventure. Any moment where I wished I had paused to soak it up a little bit longer.
I’ve quoted Lori Hetteen before, a Minneapolis poet/artist/extraordinaire. In her book of poetry, Stacks of Kindnesses, a page reads:
Wow. The magnitude of being here, in this world, right now. And then having moments of magic swirling about. The tinkering to line up you and these moments can only be God, right? Purely God magic.
And if we’re lucky, we catch it every once in a while. A moment to bookmark, bottle up, hang on to with both hands. A moment we say, “This is it. This, right here.”
After you read this, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect. Find a comfortable position, maybe one that helps you feel grounded into earth. Close your eyes. What memory stands out to you as a moment of big, bold color? What were you feeling? If you could bottle that moment up, what color would it be? What would it smell like? Was it clear God was working in your life?
Now, think about the last few days. Was there another moment that maybe you missed but was full of joy? Looking back, you know it was God tinkering, weaving a glimmering thread of goodness into your life? Maybe it was a moment of calm after a full day, a pale yellow. Or a moment of peace after a big decision, a light lavender. Maybe it was just a second of feeling the sun on your shoulders, your dog playing in the grass, and a hummingbird flying by. Take a moment to bottle that memory for your shelf. Give it a color, a scent, a polaroid image to help you hang on.
There is God magic everywhere. From the days you’ll never forget, to the abundance of little moments filling your shelves. We can’t actually bottle these moments up, but we can learn to feel the signs of when they’re happening. We can slow down a little to recognize the spark, wrapping the goodness around us in real time. Maybe we can take a picture or write a note to help us recall this feeling later. We’ll never be able to duplicate it or feel exactly the same way again, but we can carry it with us.
There is God magic everywhere. This is it. Look alive, people!
Let us pray...
With a grateful heart, thank you for these moments of magic swirling around my life. Infused with goodness and joy, they are in my everyday. Help me carry them with me in my soul. Help me to practice slowing down and recognizing You all around me. Amen.