"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

Enjoying an Oh-Moment, or is it Moment-Oh!

I sat on a park bench in the middle of the afternoon. One of those precious-few moments in life where everything comes together, out of random chaos.

Park bench, moment

It was 72 degrees Faranheit, sunny, and with a cool breeze.

All around, there was the din of voices. People shuffled past me. Parents were pushing strollers with sacked-out babies and toddlers. Intermittently, children passed by who were either screaming or laughing; sometimes it was difficult to tell the difference.

screaming child moment

As I waited over an hour, time did not matter. I was enjoying the moment. Reminiscing all at once, about the passage of time, I saw myself throughout various stages of life:

First, as a small child walking these same grounds; next, as a twenty-something, know-it-all, only interested in selfish endeavors; then as a parent, relishing the memories building in my children’s minds; and finally coming full-circle as an empty-nester, watching and savoring each of those different times.

Surprisingly, the cacophony of sounds blended into a form of silence.

I imagine it was much like what a professional athlete senses when the crowd is screaming, and suddenly, the sound fades into the background, allowing a hyper-clarity for that perfect throw, or pivotal play, that totally changes the outcome of a game or match.

Rarely do these moments last long, but I was able to milk this feeling for the better part of an hour – just basking in sentimental nostalgia like the helpless, romantic sap that I am.

What snapped me out of that special moment was the excited voices of MLB and our GD exiting the Grizzly River Run ride at Disneyland – and quite a little bit wet, at that!

Disneyland moment, Grizzly River Run

Fasten your seat-belts - It's gonna be a wet ride!

Have you ever had a moment like this?

Comments

  1. What!!!! You were in SD and didn’t call me and then you go to Disneyland without me? I’m starting to feel you aren’t as committed to this relationship as I am. Seriously. ;)

    I absolutely adore those moments. They are gifts from the heavens that make you feel at once alone and connected to everything in the universe.

    • I know, right?? SD was a whirlwind day. I will call this weekend, for sure. :)

      It was awesome being at DL again. It’s our favorite place after the ocean. Hmm, no, maybe it’s a tie!

      BTW, have you seen Hunger Games yet? I’m planning on tonight or tomorrow.

  2. Nice blog… I have sat on those park benches… I am jealous of your 72F… Love the little girl… And, your paragraph ‘First, as a small child… ” is very good.

    p.s. I am seeing ‘Hunger Games’ on Monday, after the crush of fanfanatics has left the building.

    p.p.s. Tameri… I would have called…

  3. I love that opening! Pure blogging gold…

  4. Hi,
    Wow Disneyland, what a great day out. I have never been, but I have of course seen through pictures and videos what a fun place it can be.

    I have often sat on park benches and watch the world go by, it really is fascinating what can been seen. :)

    Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on my blog.

    • You know, we travel across the same blogs all the time and I kept meaning to read yours. So glad that I took the plunge.

      If you ever get a chance, do go to Disneyland. Such a wonderful place.

  5. Heading out to find a bench in the sun right now! You motivated me to bask for a bit.

  6. I love those moments where everything fades back and the inner epiphany surfaces. They are rare. Usually they happen when I’ve been walking for a long time. :)

  7. Wonderful to read on your adventure to Disneyland . . . ahh, now I wish I could go to any of the Disney’s . . . land . . . world, it wouldn’t matter! Wah!!
    Thanks again!

  8. Ah, yes! Love those golden moments. You have such a great way of describing things, puts me right in the moment with you–well done. That feeling of being completely centered and relishing the silence…priceless. And seeing your entire life at once and feeling that contentment is rare. But so necessary. To feel that connection to everything in life. OK, now I’m going off on an existential trip of some kind…must stop now or I’ll never return.

    • Nothing wrong with tripping out, D!

      Now, go to your “quiet place” … if you can find one with the youngsters underfoot! hehe

      I’m sure there are plenty of Maine places of solitude, right?

  9. prabat parimal says:

    I was born in a small town in India about which very few people know but there is a world heritage site where Buddha attained elightenment.
    Whenever a guest came we would take him for an outing to show him that historical Temple. Outside the temple there was a Bazaar. There were many small shops, most of them selling religious books, amulets, artifacts, and pictures of Bollywood’s actors.
    There was a Ferris wheel ‘wala’ and children and the elder ones accompanying them would form quite a big crowd jostling each other to get on that. I also wanted to ride on that but my father won’t approve because of the crowd. Once i flatterd him, beseeched him and he nodded yes.
    It was a small whell and i was enjoying it but gradually it got faster as the wheel ‘wala’ and his helpers started rotating it with their full strength. I got afraid and gripped the locking bar tightly. I was afraid but was also enjoying it, although i felt relieved after it stopped.
    My father was smiling proudly and asked how i felt. I told him i had had a great experirnce.
    When i went to Appu Ghar in New Delhi when i was in middle teens i saw a huge Ferrys wheel. I rode it and was feeling like an astronaut on board a space shuttle.

  10. Rosemary Jayne says:

    I love Disney! Seriously, I worked at Disney in Paris last summer, the time you spend waiting for rides definitely fades into nothing the second it starts – or the person you’re waiting for exits, and it’s all worth it in the end :D

    • Wow, you have led a charmed life, RJ – I mean that in a “blessed” way. How fantastic to live and work in Paris. I have never been there. What did you do at Disney there? I want more details on that experience.

  11. You had a moment like this at Disneyland? With all the excitement going on, I would find it near impossible! Lol. Sometimes I do have these moments-they don’t seem as inspiring as yours though but time does seem to stand still and evrything goes quiet.
    Our stressful minds need moments like these…

    • I wasn’t really looking for it, it just seemed to happen. I think the breeze, temperature, and for some unusual reason – patience – all came together at the same time.

  12. I love these moments…mine always come out of the blue when I’m least expecting it. When they do happen, I cherish every second, but know they don’t typically last very long. I hate that we make life in the 21st century so stressful!

    • Great point about how stressful WE make life, Nate. It does seem to be self-imposed in some ways.

      I’ll admit, it was an unexpected calm that I didn’t expect. Usually I’m very impatient when waiting. Especially for that long.

  13. I am a daydreamer by nature. It is a balm for my mind.

  14. I would never have guessed you were at Disneyland even when I was halfway through the post. Good one!

  15. Judy Berman says:

    To be able to “center” yourself amid the noisy chaos of a theme park is truly admirable. I usually seek out a solitary spot in a wooded area or by water. I’ll have to try your method. Sounds like nirvana. Enjoyed your post.

  16. I felt that exact way when I met my dear husband. Everything seemed to go silent and still all around me, and the only thing I was able to focus on was him. If I *did* hear a sound, it was probably angels trumpeting “YOU’RE IN LOVE!!!”, and then things returned to normal. :) Great post, MJ– sorry I’m so late getting to the comment party.

    • Now that you mention it, Dana, it was that way when I met MLB. Exactly how you described it. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. I missed these last few somehow.

  17. People watching is my absolute favorite activity at Disneyland. As the children grow older, I find myself having more time to enjoy the others in the crowd…instead of scanning the chaos for signs of my own children!

    Seriously, that’s the only place in the entire world that I actually leashed one of my kids during one trip. I turned into one of “those” moms…just because my son was 2 and at the stage of running from everyone. Fast.

    You know how much I love Disneyland. Sorta jealous of your trip, but glad to hear you were able to spend some introspective time on a bench. I hope at least a churro was in hand…

    :)

    • WBFF, I totally understand “leashing up” the kids at DL. I saw some kids in these super-cute animal leashes. You definitely can’t risk losing a kid in a place that big.

      You know I got a churro! Hot out of the machine. I told the woman to put a little extra cinnamon and sugar on it, cuz I’m so sweet! hehe MLB wasn’t buying it, though!

  18. It’s strange to feel myself in all times like that, but you put me right there MJ — remembering Disneyland as a kid, then as a college kid, then as a parent with one kid, then two kids. I’ve been thinking we should go again this summer…now I think I’ll start getting serious about it. Thanks! :)

    • You must go again, Jeanette! You know how fun a place it is. There’s just something about seeing the parents and the kids, and the level of excellence of the whole experience is so incredibly high.

  19. Yes, Mike, I remember having a “benchmark” reflective moment or two like this, but, sadly, your post reminded me that it has been a long, long time. I’ve been too focused on the weeds to stop and smell the roses.

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