By the time I recognize this moment
this moment will be gone
But I will bend the light pretending
That it somehow lingered on....
-- John Mayer, "Clarity"
Even for generally contented, calmly demeanored people like me, moments of peaceful clarity are typically short, fleeting, and rare.
Today I was blessed with one of those moments.
I took my dinner break from work and headed to Panera Bread. After finding out the place could not alter the ingredients of the Turkey Artichoke Panini by removing those dreadful tomatoes, I contemplated another choice only to arrive at the conclusion that I was a big boy, I could take the tomatoes off myself. I got my Dr. Pepper since it's Sunday and I usually let my healthy eating go on Sundays and sat down in the back area of the restaurant with my "Texas Music" and "D" magazines I borrowed from the store.
The magazines were perused, my personal pager on short-term loan from Panera buzzed, I exchanged the pager for my Turkey Artichoke sandwich, returned to my table, and dined.
The last bite of the sandwich had just been swallowed when I realized, everything was peaceful. It was quiet. In my part of the restaurant was me and a young couple at a small table, face to face, confident their silence was not a foreboding, but something to be embraced. The music being played was a piano soloist. One that might be found alone tonight, creating melodies celebrating her solitude.
And then my moment of clarity consisted of about a minute of random thoughts...
I stared across Hwy 6 at the fields of grasses waving in the wind. I thought about how this time next year those wonderful, empty places will be paved with concrete making way for a new steel jungle for people like me-- animals of prosperity.
I thought back to my jam packed day off yesterday. About seeing Jason and Christy briefly and how thirty minutes with people you love can get you through thirty days without them. About the almost three year old Jude who I haven't seen in two weeks running into my arms, giving me a hug and screaming "I missed you Craig! Guess what? I'm watching Scooby Doo!!!!!!!!"
(As often happens when the Lakes come back from extended trips with their kids, I showed up and they got out of the door as quick as possible, leaving me with the angels.)
I thought about what our guest preacher spoke on today. About how outlandish and ridiculous God's mercy is.
I thought about those moments a few weeks ago speaking with the Stumbler's Spouse who asked me what people rarely ask me, if I was happy. I'm not sure if she could tell, but the question brought tears to my eyes. It brought tears to my eyes because it brought people to my mind and all I could do was say, "Yes, I'm very happy."
My moment ended when my loud-buzzing phone rang. It was Kyle calling to tell me he had just received word from from someone, a wonderful writer, that this particular person would read the manuscript and possibly write an acknowledgement. (Name withheld until acknowledgement is written.)
Nothing actionable. Just a moment. A sacred moment at Panera.