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Pausable Moments

September 5, 2011
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There’s grass and soccer cleats and a wide open field.  There’s goals and players and sticky east coast air that is so thick I can see it when I look up at the stadium lights.  The ball goes back and forth across the field and it’s the same scene I’ve watched since before I can remember.  It’s the same scene I’ve spent countless childhood afternoons in, come rain or shine.  It’s the same scene that consumed my weekends and occasionally week nights growing up.  And it’s the most natural scene to find myself in – cheering on a sibling, yelling at the top of my lungs, clapping along with the crowd.  It’s so familiar and comforting to me that I almost don’t think about it anymore.

But then there are moments.

There are these odd, random moments that spontaneously take hold of my heart when I’m not expecting them to.  These pausable moments that slow time down and turn something that is so natural and familiar into something brand new.  Into something astonishing.  I am caught off guard every time.

I’m at my brother’s soccer game and the scene is nothing new.  He’s about to take a corner kick and his team fills the box in preparation.  Players scrounge around with each other, like little moving chess pieces, and I catch sight of his long gait running across the field to take his kick.  And for some reason this moment grabs me.  It grabs me and it won’t let me go.  This moment forces me back in time to lying on blankets in the grass of his rec soccer games, to the time I accidentally knocked him off the slide, to the day I went into his fourth grade class with my mom to help out.  This moment funnels me into the past and I remember the day I saw him on the field of his very first collegiate soccer game.  I choked back tears.  He locked eyes with me from the grass below and threw a team scarf up into the stands for me to catch.  Out of nowhere, I’m reliving this scene.

In just this quick glimpse of seeing him run to take a kick, something I’ve seem him do a thousand times, I am enamored by the history of this moment.  It’s a heavy moment to carry and it forces me to pause and hold it, to not let it go, to let it wash over me again and again until it’s not so comfortable anymore.  We are not meant to take all of our moments for granted.  The most common and most mundane experiences in our lives have become that way because we let them.  We do what we love, and eventually we repeat what we love so often that it becomes habitual.  We do it again and again in the hopes that it becomes inherit in our character.  In our lives.   We can’t get enough of what we love – we need it to fill our everyday.

And suddenly I’m overwhelmed by the reality that cheering on my siblings is so much a part of me because I let it become that way.  I loved it so fully that it became what is ordinary and mundane in my life.  Being their fan has now become a part of what makes me, me.  I cannot do without it anymore – it is a piece of the fabric that makes up my life.

It’s that pausable moment.

It’s the moment that stops me, completely off guard, and brings me back to the history that brought me here.  To remind me that, unbeknownst to me, my most ordinary experiences were building up to something sacred and precious and powerful.  All the things I do without thinking – those are the moments that tell the story of my life.  They are the ink across the paper of love and family and togetherness.

And so I pause.

My brother makes his way to the corner and takes his kick.  I wish I could say I remember where the ball went or what his teammates did with it, but I can’t.  I was still stuck in the moment where I was watching him run.  Where I saw him run across the field – through grass and humidity and the screams of the crowd.  Still stuck in that moment where I saw him running, and I saw all the history that trailed closely behind him.

There are always pausable moments.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 1:53 am

    Oh, how lovely to find you in my inbox tonight. And this – this is gorgeous, as always. “..the ink across the paper of love and family and togetherness…” ah, yes – the pausable moments. Thank you, thank you.

  2. September 7, 2011 9:28 pm

    Diana, your comments always make my day! I can’t express how much you lift my spirits, but please know how grateful I am. Thank you for your kinds words – as always, I am humbled.

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