I was reading a wonderful blog post about the way the impermanence of things enhances our appreciation of them—and how instead of lamenting loss, we can realize if we had these things all the time we would begin to take them for granted; their beauty is tied to their impermanence.
As with many experiences, once that idea crossed into my consciousness, I started noticing how true it is. Here are a few examples:
- On an evening hike timed to see the rise of a “super moon,” a fellow hiker said, “It’s a shame it goes away so quickly.” Indeed, when the moon rose, it was huge, and it was orange. I had never seen such a beautiful moon. Soon, it rose higher in the sky, got smaller, and faded to yellow. Ultimately, it was its usual size and color. But the blog post about impermanence allowed me to appreciate that its rareness and fleeting nature are what made it so special, and as much as I would have liked more time to stare at it, I was left with a beautiful memory I realized would not have been so special if it was something I could see all the time.
- I’ve seen many rainbows in my life, but I stop and look at them every time for the same reason.
- Sunrises, sunsets, clouds, and flowers blooming come to mind.
- During a storm, my daughter told me about a lightning bolt she had just seen and how cool it was. I always feel that way too.
- After the long winter of early 2013, when spring finally came, and the leaves began to emerge, my backyard neighbor Doug said to me, “This is why I love where we live. The season make you appreciate the differences.” I agree (although I can also imagine appreciating if it was 75 degrees and sunny 365 days a year.)
This concept also made me think about the way we sometimes wish a certain stage in life could last forever. When a grandparent says of their adorable three-year-old granddaughter, “This is the cutest age, I wish she could stay like this forever,” they don’t really mean it. The cuteness would become routine if the kid was three forever. Once again, it’s the fleeting nature of the experience that adds to the beauty and wonder we feel.
What are some examples you can think of? How can thinking this way change the way you choose to look at impermanence to enhance your happiness? Join the conversation with your comments…