|No, this is not my photo, but portrayed the one I was trying to capture...|
Before daybreak I was taking our dog, Hurricane out to go potty. He is afraid of the dark so someone must escort him to the deck stairs and linger while he does his business. Mind you, he watches us the entire time so we won’t leave him. Well, hah unbeknownst to him, I gazed upward and caught a glimpse of the most incredible moon peeking through the bare limbs of the trees.
I audibly gasped at its splendor and dashed into the house to get my camera. Well, CRIPES, when I found my place again on the deck, the moon had vanished behind a cloud.
I waited. And waited. And waited…while I remained still continuing to wait I pleaded with God to make it reappear once more so I could capture its image, it occurred to me that this was a moment of missed opportunity. How many of those in my lifetime have I failed to notice? What direction might my life’s journey proceeded if I’d been more prepared? Or more willing? Or more courageous? Or more something...
A few came to mind: I remember the 1984 Olympics when Mary Lou Retton performed in gymnastics. She received a perfect ten and won a gold medal for the United States. I played her identification number she wore on her back #105 in the lottery for weeks and weeks. I was sure it would come up with her good luck. Well, it didn’t and I eventually stopped playing it but still curiously glanced at the lottery numbers. One week later it appeared and the winner won thousands of dollars and it wasn’t me!
I met my adoring husband when I was thirty two years old; we married at thirty five while I continued to battle the eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia. I was approaching forty and felt my time ticking away to have children. I delivered Nicholas six months before I turned forty. If I hadn’t been so old, he may have been blessed with siblings instead of being the only child.
However, there were opportunities I was glad to have missed such as this one: when I was nine or ten my mom worked so we waited for our school bus alone. As I hung around the garage, a decrepit old car turned into our driveway. A filthy dirty man with meanness in his eyes was behind the wheel of that vehicle. He eerily stared as he invited and encouraged me to enter the automobile; he’d deliver me to school, he assured me. Something told me to back up and go inside the house. Once told, my mom called the police who came out to talk to me. When I hear of children being abducted and missing the alerts frequently take me back to that moment and seemingly enters my thoughts; what if?
We all have those moments of turning left when we should have turned right, zigged when we should have zagged, said ‘YES’ when we should have said ‘NO’ and vice versa. Some would identify it as making choices and conceivably they could be right. Conversely, what about those happenstances when there is/was no choice to be made such as not having my camera available? What are those moments entitled?
It happens, the moon did re-emerge and in my hurried pace to capture the reflection before it could once more evaporate, the picture blurred. While it is still striking, or maybe it’s the one I envision in my mind’s eye, it was gone…it was irretrievable.
Nothing is so often irretrievably missed as a daily opportunity.
~Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach