An amazing moment happened to me at age eight.  I remember driving somewhere with my mother in our old station wagon with the fake wood paneling on the side.  Everyone had one of those cars back then.  My two little brothers were in the back seat.

Earlier that day a classmate in my third grade class said to the teacher that his dad told him that the sun was going to explode and everyone in the world would die.  What!  The teacher made him stop talking about things that would upset the class, but the damage was done.  I couldn’t think about anything else the rest of the school day.

That afternoon in the car with my mother I can still remember sitting there and looking down at my tennis shoes with the three white stripes and waiting for my chance to ask.  I was hoping she’d tell me that kid was wrong.

So I told her all about what happened and what a jerk that kid was and he was wrong, wasn’t he?  She didn’t tell me he was wrong.  How could this be?  But, she said not to worry, that it wouldn’t be for hundreds or thousands of years.  Whew!  I was so relieved.  For about 15 seconds.

Then, in my third grade mind’s eye I had an image of everyone in that future time running away from the exploding sun, scared because they were all going to die.  Such a vivid image of their fear, their screams, everyone running.  I was so glad it wouldn’t be me.  Such a relief!

But wait…  Even if I’m not there, they are, and that means so am I.  They are me.  It seemed so obvious to me for just a few minutes that everyone, everyone who had ever existed or ever would exist, was me.  This was such an obvious truth and I was surprised that I had missed it before.  They are me, I am me, everyone is me.

Not in a “we are all One” way, but in an actual I’m-looking-out-of-everyone’s-eyes way.  It was a relief, and new, and had always been – all at the same time.

And then a few minutes later it faded back out.  And I was left thinking, “Wait…. What?”  I knew I’d had something that had just slipped through my fingers.

It took me about 35 more years to figure out that it never left.  It’s always here.  It just fades into the background when you’re too busy living life to notice it.  And that’s perfect.

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