December 3 Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I try to feel alive in every day moments: walking my dog and smelling the seasonal air, feeling the rain on my skin, hearing the wind, giving a hug, enjoying a good meal, just laying and doing nothing. While I do find a feeling of mortality in those moments, I tend to feel most alive when I am doing extraordinary things, when I find myself in truly awesome situations.
Yesterday's (a day late, again!) prompt calls for one moment in which I felt most alive; I couldn't pick just one, ok? I'm doing a top three. Deal with it.
#3 The day in July, at what-was-formerly-known-as Great Woods, when I saw Tim McGraw in concert. The chance of a lifetime, and a completely spontaneous day. A friend just happened to have an extra ticket, and I decided to go with only six hours to concert time. First of all, let me tell you about country music shows for those of you who have never been (and I know some of you may be dismissing me as a redneck right now, but I'm really not). Sure, you're going to see a lot of interesting characters at a country music show, just like a lot of other genres bring out the crazies. But, you are also going to experience some of the most fun, loving, open-minded, open-hearted people you will ever encounter. There is a feeling of unity and pride that you can't help but feel at a country concert.
Tim was no exception. In fact, he was probably the perfect example because he's such a living country legend. Everyone loves Tim McGraw. He's a great guy with the perfect family, and he really reaches out to the audience.
I felt so happy... well, minus the sweat since it was the hottest, humid day we had this past summer, and I was outside in the sun. When the sun went down, and Tim really got into some of his best songs, everyone was singing along, and I found I had tears in my eyes. It was such a beautiful sight, all of these people from different places and circumstances, all races and religions and beliefs, young and old, guys and girls, die-hard fans and casual appreciators... all swaying to the music, smiling, singing, bonding.
#2 The day in October, in Grand Cayman, when I held and kissed a stingray. Wow, what a day that was! It was overcast, but warm and humid, and as I lowered myself down the boat's swim ladder onto the Stingray City sandbar, I discovered the water to be bath temperature. Then I felt it, the soft creamy sand my feet were sinking into and a smooth flutter brush past my leg. It was a stingray! I felt a split moment of panic, but then I saw the creature float away in front of me. Magical. Beautiful. The panic dissipated, replaced by calm and awe.
They swirled around me, some more playful than others bumping up against my legs as if we were playing a game of who could get who to tumble into the water. Our guide called us over and snagged a ray, gently holding her just under the water. Ever so carefully, he slid her onto my bent arms, and she just rested there, slowly fluttering her wings. Her belly felt so smooth and soft, and I could hear her breathing just below the water's surface, pulling water in through her gills. I heard nothing but that breathing, even though I was surrounded by throngs of people.
The guide told me to crouch down even lower in the shallow water, and he bent her up so I could kiss where her mouth should have been (but wasn't because a ray's mouth is actually on their underside). Salty Caribbean water trickled into my mouth as I kissed her, and for a second, I was part of her world.
#1 The day in February, at Bretton Woods, NH, when I found my skis. Up until last year, I had always rented skis, but my aunt insisted I start demoing to find a pair I liked and could buy. Until that day, I had tried at least a half dozen different skis. After a run or two, I knew they weren't the ones (doesn't this sound like finding Mr. Right? I think it is exactly like that).
When I clipped my boots into the Elan Black Magic skis and rode up the mountain to attempt them on a beginner/intermediate trail, I knew as soon as I started navigating my way down that these were the ones. I was fast, I was in control, I was on fire! They made me feel invincible, secure, steady. I wasn't so focus on getting myself down the mountain, I could enjoy the ride!
I was surrounded by the most beautiful snow-covered pine trees; in the distance, I could see the snow-capped peak of Mount Washington. I felt the cold winter air whipping around my face, and I could smell that crisp smell of snow that comes with the season. All sounds turned into white noise as I found myself in this... perfectly balanced place.