There exist aspects of life that are truly astounding, as anyone can attest to. However, what must be subsequently fathomed is that, along with the blatantly significant facets of our life, there are waves of infinity in each blink of the eye, in every rejuvenating release of the clouds and the accompanying scent of petrichor, in a moment’s passing, in the essence of any singular thought. The purpose of this column is to peer into experiences that many have daily—only in such a manner that is likely unfathomed—to promote a more substantial appreciation of such things.
- Beckett Wilkinson, Column Author
If one’s life is considered a continuous sea of time, then true bliss is the transgression thereof to aggregate one’s series of moments into meaning. Often, in the recollection of past events, we might recall the specific moment in which we were first approached by that which we would subsequently take away. Personally, I refer to these moments each time I relay any type of anecdote because, in my mind, the reminiscence of anything is futile if absent of deductible morals. A moment, then, defines the significance of each challenge, success, conclusion, or belief. Moments faced are everything.
If the dawn of fright far from annuls all love, then perhaps we are spared a great deal of tragedy. To a certain extent, the most substantive antithesis of love is not hatred—it is fear. Hatred comes from arrogance, along with an admiration—a love—for some ideal that does not suit the recipient of such hatred. Conversely, fear is everything that love is not—apprehensive, meek, submissive, and confined, among other things. With such a thought, the average presumptuous individual may conclude that love and fear cannot occur concurrently, but this is not so, for it is certainly not a veracious claim that the commencement of one matter terminates another, generally speaking. The grandeur of existence is met when all of its aspects are unified, fabricating a sort of balance within ourselves, such that one might live with a fear of losing that which they love.
In the new autumn sky of gray, young children may attend their first collegiate sporting event as spectators. It is overwhelming, and the people are large and overly excitable—it is not naturally comfortable to be here. However, a child destined to later be a student, cheering louder than all the rest as a man on horseback wielding a sword leads a victorious game, is a child that is not overcome by what is unfamiliar. That child is someone who will one day cling to a single moment of clarity amid the chaos. That child has learned that, above anything else, they will not succumb to fear, and instead live a life of loving the university from which they acquired this wisdom. Perhaps some of us were once this child, or perhaps we are here by mere happenstance. Either way, in paying close attention, moments stand out as significant consistently each day, or at least with high regularity, and this has been so from a young age.
One’s most abhorrent moments are the forces that drive the process of self-discovery— our passions and talents, fears and loves. We all encounter conflict, surely, but how we interpret such instances of hardship speaks volumes to who we are. Clearly, at UVA, we have not let fear decide our fate, even in the face of any form of adversity. We value the truths of the world and have applied our minds in all ways to even grace these grounds. Perspective is of profound consequence, and it is mine that we do not mature without first discovering how to move on from something rather unfortunate. We must accept complications as a foregone reality, lock them away but leave them the key in case of a necessary reminder, never regard them as unproductive, and go on with resolution and gratification. In other words, we see drastic—and indeed forceful—improvement of ourselves amid a personal calamity, making these affairs indispensable rather than burdensome.
In this way, the influence of a moment is innately constructive, despite the distinct possibility that the moment itself is staunchly the opposite. None of them should be left behind and forgotten. Do the leaves cry when crushed? Do the pebbles in our shoes lose hope when removed? I tend to believe that, rather, the leaves smile as they are carried by the chilly breeze at the end of their lives, and the pebbles are glad to give us a hug for a time, no matter how irritating it is to us. They must appreciate the moments that may prove informative or otherwise exist in a perpetual torrent within themselves.
To reflect on life is to engage with a sequence of mental images that capture specific moments for us without our awareness. We contemplate how we have subsequently been molded into who we are, and as a biker kicks up a pebble under their wheel that catches a falling leaf just before it hits the sidewalk, we comprehend that nothing is insignificant but that all significance must be encapsulated and compartmentalized in remembrance. We are bold and unafraid to experience all there is, so we must aspire to cultivate an expansive repertoire of momentous moments—in college and beyond—in order to secure our essence of growth over the various periods of life.
These words are digested and considered, the reader’s eyes close, and a moment is forever bound to a string of many, many others.