Along Highway 11 at the Kootenay Plains.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you wake up and realize that you are here?
I know reads rather oddly. Where else would you be but where you are?
What I mean is the moments of exquisite life when you are fully awake; when awareness of yourself and your world is at its sharpest.
I’ve had a few of them over the years. Two that I recall were while I was all alone in my car. It was as if I’d awakened after a very long half-sleep and realized who and what I was.
I recall being tickled silly: “I’m all grown up and driving!”
It was good that I was alone on both occasions. I am sure I grinned like a cheerful idiot, and I’m equally sure I would not have given a sensible response if asked why.
I had another one recently. Just the other day I realized that I’m doing the things I said I’d do.
Years ago in junior high school I thought I’d like to be a freelance writer. I had no clue what that would entail, but it sounded good. It made use of two of my favourite words: free and writer.
Also during those years I saw a photograph in a magazine of a street, a fence with a loose board, and a tabby cat half-hidden by said board and I thought I’d like to be a photographer.
“Anything I can’t say in words I can say in pictures,” I thought that day.
When I was eight I told my dad I was going to be a reporter and I was one for nearly 20 years.
Today I am a freelancer. I’ve taken pictures to go with my stories and in the past I've done a few freelance photos for a former newsmagazine, Alberta Report.
I once did a freelance article for another magazine that was based in Edmonton back in the mid-80s. I’ve forgotten the name, but I recall it was run by women.
The other day I was out on my deck enjoying the summer when I woke up to myself and my life and realized I was doing what I said I’d do. I am doing what I want and I am here and I am alive.
That bit of exquisite wakefulness wasn’t as sharp as the ones that came to me while driving, but it was still an exquisite moment.
Has it happened to you? Have you had an exquisite sense of your life and what you've done?