At Williams lake, with my family, I lived in the moment of past, present, and future -- and I felt that I could have lived within that moment for eternity.
Before my family and I returned to our hike down the mountain, I was distinctly aware that I was experiencing time not sequentially, in a series of moments, but static, in only one moment. One undefinable moment, as if time was stilled; or, set aside for us to witness and to breath and to play by the clear, barely stirring lake surrounded by mature alpine trees and multi-million year old rock with grayish faces as young and as old as the latest freeze-thaw cycle. I knew that I was experiencing a unique state of mind and soul and an awareness to the fundamental natural laws of being. And, sadly, while my family and I were living that moment, I knew that what we were experiencing would end...and end all too soon.
The hike down the mountain was full of longing for that one moment spent at Williams lake.
I heard no sound but Earth's silence that always fell into place between the muffled chatter of my family. I felt no breeze but the air passing in and out of my lungs. I felt the warm grass wear I sat next to the lake's shore, and I worried about crushing some precious species of life. I felt the sun on my head, though I felt the chill, too -- a kind of painless death, but without the sadness of loss -- when the clouds crossed over and buried us in darkness. I felt the ceasing of heat, rather than the dilution of it, in the lake's water, too, when I dipped my left hand in its clear glass as if to prove the lake was real.
When this was a sea.
When we return home.
When the Pterosaur glided.
When our house is sold.
When salt choked the crustacean.
When we find alien life.
When I am buried.
When the mountain crumbles.
When they return here.
When the air swells.
When they are elderly.
When the sun swells.
When all is dust.
When all is dust.
This audible silence. These thoughts. This moment of truth. These thoughts.
Some would feel blessed. Some would feel God’s presence. I felt everything, and all in a moment of knowing the expanse of the reality across time, from the primordial to the collapse of existence; an understanding that this moment is unique, and it will end, and it will end all too soon.
Will I ever have such moments again? I can’t know. What I do know is when my family and I were hiking back to our car some 2 miles away and 1700 feet downhill, I knew that I was leaving something behind, and that something was us; a moment of experience I can never re-capture so definitively. My family and I did dwell forever in a moment, and that moment is now recorded in the memory of a mountain in the middle of a high plain New Mexico desert.
Life became ordinary again for me once we reached the parking lot, though life should never be so.