And each one there
Has one thing they share:
They have sweated beneath the same sun,
Looked up in wonder at the same moon,
And wept when it was all done
For bein’ done too soon,
For bein’ done too soon.
For bein’ done.
– From the song Done Too Soon
by Neil Diamond
Awe and wonder
Cherish the moments of awe and wonder in life.
Once upon a time, when we were young and strong and confident and immortal, we had the world and all the time in the world, dreams without limits and an unlimited number of new days and new wonders ahead. We were not foolish or insensitive, just ignorant and naïve.
Certainly we did not lack for daring, fervor, or passion. Then, perhaps even more than now, we were awed and enchanted by the rise of a full October moon over the rim of the shortgrass prairie, mesmerized by a night sky awash in stars, unpolluted by the glow of city lights. We were bright, shining, fiery, varied as the constellations, full as the Milky Way, endless as the Universe. We thought, if we thought at all, that we would witness these marvels, and these emotions, again and again, endlessly, thousands of moon rises, thousands of moments of splendor and excitement.
But on this autumn evening, much later in life, the moon rise stirs passions more dulcet, mellow, bittersweet. Most of our dreams have been realized, or have faded away like the last light of day, and those that we still hold are more modest and guarded. The years have not made us callous, exactly, but we are no longer naïve. We are too seldom excited to discover what life has to offer, and we are too often apprehensive to learn what life is taking away.
I do not mean to be overly maudlin. The joys of life are no less intense and gratifying in these years, but we savor them differently. Sunset, moon rise, storm at sea, dawn after an Arctic blizzard, the hug of a child, the kiss of a lover, an evening of talk with a long-time friend, the murmur and warmth of a fire in the woodstove. Through the passing years we learned these moments, these miracles of passion, are seldom and fleeting.
Do not take them lightly. Do not take them lightly. That full moon rising? You will stand in awe of it fifty times in your life at most, perhaps fewer. Perhaps many times fewer. A quiet night with someone you love in your arms and nothing else in the world of any importance? A hundred such nights? You would be among a fortunate few.
We have all sweated beneath the same sun. We have all looked up in wonder at the same moon. And we shall weep when it is all done, for being done too soon.
Cherish the moments of awe and wonder in your life.