Last night I got an unexpected treat... when dinner plans with a friend fell through, I grabbed the opportunity of already-scheduled-away-time and took myself out to the movies. The salty popcorn, icy soda & an escape to another world is my kind of heaven. I saw a movie called Higher Ground. A slice-of-life, window into the world of a woman on a quest for faith, it is one of those films that has stayed with me throughout the next day. Her journey of salvation found & lost (based on a memoir by Carolyn S. Briggs) and the larger theme of the gap between ideals & reality is what has really stuck with me. I love all sorts of movies, but the kind that make you think & reflect for days afterward are among my favorites.
The main character's quest to feel something real... a tangible connection to something larger than herself... is so beautifully & honestly portrayed. Driving home I couldn't help but think of the moments in my own life when I have felt that kind of connection. Moments brief & fleeting, where a sense of being a small, but important, part of a larger whole, takes over. That elusive place of quiet, still, balance... filled with an overwhelming feeling of "Everything is going to be okay."
The first memory I have of a moment like this is when I was around ten years old. An Alaskan winter day, I remember sledding with my brother in our front yard. The steep, sloping driveway and banks on either side made for a quick, thrilling ride. The air that afternoon was thick with falling snow, an infinite white-gray sky with an endless supply of puffy flakes drifting downward. My brother went inside while I did one last run. At the end of the ride, I rested on my back, cradled in my hard-plastic sled, catching flakes on my tongue & eyelashes. I vividly remember the intense quiet of the moment, looking up at the frosted trees, the chill in the air replaced by an inner warmth throughout my entire body. I remember thinking I could die at that moment & all would be fine - not in a morbid way - but more a feeling of a complete sense of peace. I don't know how long I stayed there... time felt non-linear... like I was briefly connected to something un-namable, un-knowable and yet, somehow, also completely familiar, even to my ten-year-old self.
Other flashes of clarity & well-being followed... seeing my husband for the first time, being at my Grandfather's funeral, holding Quinn three days after his diagnosis with Down syndrome, the first time Remy nursed, a random night driving home by myself with the music blaring & windows open feeling young, alive, free... and a million other fleeting snippets of connectedness, a patchwork of perfect moments that help me find my way through the not-so-perfect ones. My faith might not be grounded in religion or tradition, but it is what keeps me afloat in rougher waters.
Things fall apart around me. Or because of me. One of those.
22 minutes ago