Small but perfect moments

16 years ago, about 6 months before my grandfather died and my grandmother was moved to an assisted living complex, I stopped out at their house on my way back home from work to have dinner with them. While I was there, I asked my grandmother if we could make her “famous” peanut butter cookies that everyone in the family loves. So we spent about an hour making cookies, just her and me with Grandpa there too. I knew at that moment that this would probably be the last time I would ever be able to spend time with her like that. It was certainly the last time she would ever made cookies for me. So I made sure to really enjoy my grandparents while I was there. I even wrote down the cookie recipie. That time with them… just enjoying their company… is my all time greatest perfect moment.

Two come to mind:
I was 18 in June 1992, visiting some friends in France with family. My dad’s friend decides to take his boat across the bay to buy some oysters and order the paella for that evening. He and his wife and my dad were all going but no one else would go along but me. So we get in this power boat and cruise across the Bay of Arcachon on this perfect day, and the town is gorgeous and there are old men playing some bowling game in the streets and everything is looking about 100 years ago and I’ve stepped into some old-european time warp. Then we all get back in the boat and head back. The whole way back, we cracked oysters, ate them raw, and tossed the shells into the bay. The sun was beating down on us at this point. My dad uncorked a cold bottle of white wine, took a swig straight from the bottle and passed it to me. It was the first time I ever had a drink with my dad, and boy, was it memorable. We stopped the boat in the middle of the bay, passing around oysters and cold wine, and I went swimming. I found an oyster tangled in some floating seaweed, brought it aboard, and ate it. I will never forget that day.

The second, I was going to college, and had a puppy that was about four months old. One day I packed a lunch, grabbed a frisbee, and headed up to the campus up from my house, which had a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We played frisbee and sniffed around for a while, then I sat down and ate my sandwich as my dog rested next to me. It was a beautiful, perfect moment, hard to describe. But the funny part was when I sighed and said to her, “We’re lucky.” Just then, a woman I hadn’t seen walked right by us. She had been watching us and heard me say that to my dog. The smile on her face was so nice, it only added to the moment and made me feel even luckier. It was one of those moments where you totally appreciate what you have when you have it.

Great topic for a thread.

Kythereia, Hart House is indeed a special place. I myself spent many happy times in that building when I was a student at the U of T, and probably know the exact room that you found. Indeed, many years after graduating, I went back, so my wife and I could be married in the House’s little chapel.

Other perfect moments? There have been many, but the one that seems to be pushing its way to the fore right now was one time when I was riding a horse that I’d often take on trail rides with friends. But this time, there was just the two of us, out exploring through the backwoods near the farm where she was kept. She was a good horse to ride; always careful in the backwoods and mindful that she had a rider. But this day, when we came out of the woods, she wanted to run. So did I.

I’ve galloped horses a number of times, but always with others and in less wild settings. This time, we had no other riders who might have wanted to go a little more slowly, or take that path, or suggest anything other than what this horse and I wanted to do and where we wanted to go. And we went–she literally flew over the ground, over obstacles, and over ditches, as I guided her past this clump of trees, and around that pile of rocks. I remember thinking that I now know what it’s like to ride a flying carpet, she was that fast, that surefooted, and that smooth.

We never got to do that again; my subsequent rides with her were with other riders and were somewhat more sedate. But the memory of that one day with that horse, just the two of us flying over the ground, is pretty special.

A couple of months ago I went outside after a rain and there was a perfect double rainbow - clear, brilliant colours for both the primary and secondary rainbow visible in an uninterrupted 180º arc from one end to the other and framed against that clean fresh look that everything sometimes has after a rain. I called my wife out and we just stood and looked at it for 5 or 10 minutes.

It was my freshman year at NYU. I was also working at a bar on 2nd Ave. I got off at 4am…dog tired after waitressing for 8 hours but I didn’t feel like sleeping. I went to a Korean grocery and bought two beer and a package of cherries, and went to sit in the park. At some point a guy wandered over and offered to trade me a joint for one of my beer. I don’t smoke pot but I traded him anyway. I sat and ate my cherries and watched the sky get light over Washington Square.

Early October, where it’s still warm but the leaves are turning colors. I run cross country on my school team, but a lot of times I prefer to just be alone. Running at one of my favorite local parks, and you feel so tired but the air is crisp and then you crest a bridge and you look at the water and…

It’s perfect.


Hanging out with my friends at a beach house, [sub]taking a few bong hits[/sub], and going out onto the beach at 1 in the morning in the middle of winter, walking aimlessly into an endless black void. Hard to describe, but a great little moment.

Riding the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, just sitting on the steps between the carriages in the warm night air, sipping Singha beer, smoking Marlboro’s, thinking about everything and nothing, and watching the stars as the rice fields slipped past in the pitch blackness - the whole train was asleep, and it was just me, the fields and the stars. Perfect.

Autumn, 1969. I had my first job as a teacher and my first car. One Saturday on my way home to my very own apartment, I was listening to Madama Butterfly on the radio. As I pulled into an automatic carwash, they began “un bel di” and I just cranked it up. The sun was flooding in from the exit ahead – through the water cascading over the windshield – and the wipers were keeping time! For a little while everything was in sinq – my life, the music, the machines, the day, the earth! And wasn’t it the perfect song?

Zoe invited me back to this thread. I’m resting my good arm completely (strain has caught up with it) so I’m keeping this short.

One can certainly have perfect moments in a society where freedom is limited. I had a ‘good’ moment last night when listening to music in bed.

It was V’s Four Seasons, and I was imagining my ideal future with wife, kids, and home in the USA. They were all registered dopers.

I took a group of neighbor’s children to see CATS one cold December day. We took the “big bus” to NYC, had lunch, saw the show, had hot chocolate and donuts and took the bus back. While waiting for our ride to pcik us home, we stood in the dark looking at the drainage ditch behind the bus stop. A 5 year old suddenly said “This is nice.” I said “It has been a good day.” She said “No. THIS right here is nice.”

What a great little moment.