Reflecting on unique moments in time

water wing in pool

“Every moment of life is unique…a kiss, a sunset, a dance, a joke. None will ever recur in quite the same way. Each happens only once in the history of the universe.”

 — Stephen Nachmanovitch 

Glorious summer is bowing to autumn once again, always a time for the young to spend living life full tilt.

This has been a season of sweetness as I watch the growth of my grandchildren, doors opening to new experiences. Just this past week, our oldest at age 4, with his parents in our pool right beside him, took off his water wings and swam the entire length of the 36-foot pool on his own power.

It was amazing to watch that little head-turning, arms reaching, legs kicking fast and furious under the clear water, propelling him forward. We cheered when he touched the wall, just like he was a gold-medal Olympian. I hope it is a memory he holds for a long, long time.

When summer opened, Brooks didn’t love getting his face wet, which is typical of the very young in the pool. With each swim, he learned to be a little more tolerant and interested in knowing the next steps to becoming a swimmer. We watched him become one.

“I can swim now, Poppy!” I heard this little guy say to his grandfather, great pride in his voice. I couldn’t help but think of the fact that this moment in his life, and ours, is unique in every way. We start out this life as blank slates, and the people around us help fill the experiences, the knowledge, the fun, the accomplishments.

I remember the summer I accomplished swimming without a bulky, orange life jacket, even holding my nose to attempt an underwater somersault like I’d seen my big sisters do, but that would have to wait another year. Many nights I dreamed of swimming throughout that winter, the weightless greatness of exploring our farm pond with my sisters, cousins and neighbor kids. Summer couldn’t come back around quickly enough so I could continue learning more.

Some are born lucky, loved before they even arrive, a host of life coaches waiting in the wings to share the great things they’ve mastered through the span of their own journey. Others find the days an uphill climb, even the biggest accomplishments marked with various levels of negativity.

It is up to us to help make the days joyful, wonderful, unique, always sparkling with possibilities. Without a glimmer of doubt, it’s the best job I’ve ever had.


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.



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