A single mirrored drop of water sails through thick coastal air. A single drop expelled from heavy gray clouds, joins a school of like-minded peers free falling. A single drop swan dives, splatters against my windshield. Pushed aside by the wiper, like a finger washing tears from his cheek.
The vent blows cool air in my face, eyes dried to an icy veneer.
Followed by another.
M83’s “Wait” filters through the stereo. Grabs hold of my heart with a gentle fist, squeezes. A blanket of energy unfolds through my veins like the unfurling of a flag, followed by a wave of goose bumps.
This song, I say to Chris.
This song, I say to Kelly in the backseat.
This song, I say to myself, is every beautiful moment wrapped into words. Into sound.
As the rain begins to pour, the windshield becomes a puddle of tears. I turn the volume louder to saturate the car with this song.
It overtakes time, washes reality away; the two-hour drive from Islamorada back to Fort Lauderdale, somewhere on the Turnpike –
I am no longer driving, but sailing. Sailing like the falling of water from a cloud. Sailing into the depth of a moment where emotion rides waves of meditative contemplation. The mind, still.
The car rides up a hill. Gray asphalt blends with gray sky, only white divider lines break the monochromatic landscape. As the song builds to an intoxicating crescendo married with this perfect weather, a mood is manifested that brings a watery glaze to my red eyes.
If I could press pause and everything would stop.
If I could float here, in this moment.
Nothing else would matter.
This is what it’s like to be in the present. To need nothing but the air in my lungs, the beat of my heart, and find serenity tucked in the simplest of corners. Within the atmosphere of a song, the roar of laughter, or the time-lapse from an honest conversation.
Erased with the swipe of an Etch-A-Sketch.
A moment wiped clean for the birth of another.
Like the falling of water against a windowpane. Gone with the same beautiful mystery in which it was born.
The car lifts, glides through endless sky amidst linen sheets, above the earth into the warmth of a half smile painted upon my calm expression. An immeasurable wealth of beauty, rich and soaked in organic composure. Like Mozart channeling his greatest symphony. Like Van Gough lost in starry nights and beautiful insanity. The gift of now, of sights fixed on feet planted. On the canvas before you, the song around us.
On the person next to me.
The mind always with me.
The blade of grass.
The falling drop.
This song, I say again.
This song, this moment is perfect.
Do you feel it? I ask Chris.
He smiles and I know he’ll never feel what I do. Never understand what I experience. It’s mine alone, just as what’s his is his alone. His moment, my moment, they’re entirely different. I can’t make him feel what I felt or see what I saw.
How many drops have gone unseen?
How many songs gone unheard?
So much gratitude wrapped in a fleeting second. Something that is born and dies in an instant, something with a rippling resonance. The present moment, the ephemeral truth, is all we have. It’s the only thing that matters. The past, the future, do not exist; but now, this very breath, is ours. Before it’s exhaled, before it’s wiped away, erased by an Etch-A-Sketch.
Because I blink, I blink and another drop has fallen. This one may blur my vision, it may streak the glass, three drops may fall together. But I am still. I no longer fight the rain. I open my heart to its presence and allow the water to rush over me.
At a time.
And just like that the song ends.
The rain stops.
We’ve driven to a new city.
I look to Chris who’s on his phone. To Kelly, on her phone. To the cars speeding by. At the stereo playing another track. Something unimportant.
Born and gone.
But I –
I lay flat. Back down, face up. To the clouds. The sea of rolling gray cotton that drifts like vessels through open atmosphere. Lay flat, face up, toward the silver lining, the veil between this world and the other. Another. Life. And allow nature to take course. Allow my body to evaporate with those fleeting moments of water droplets. Back. Back to the clouds. To the sun.
Where it will rain again.
Where love will make me whole again.
The lungs will breathe again.
Where the cocoon will incubate.
The fear will dissipate.
This may make sense, may make no sense, may be abstract and raise question. But such is the present, the fleeting existence, the birth and death of an instant. The moment. And what I’ve been told, what I’ve learned is gratitude. For the delicacy of time, the metamorphosis of life and the evolution of everything.
Of every thing.
Held between fingertips with the frailty of a wilting bud.
Precious and fragile, the weight of true being contained in a single drop. And to look, to see it for the split second before it vanishes, to stop and hear the music or smell those roses, to lose yourself in smile or dissolve into the spiraling molecules of our fabric. To truly exist in the moment –
It is something of pure gratitude.
And something so easily taken for granted.
Until it stops.
The feeling fades to a distant ache in the chest. Because we know it’s gone. Something has changed, has left us. We long to feel it again, to hold it to our heart. To relive what cannot be resurrected. We yearn for the single drop of water and forget the infinite supply that falls in its wake. Still holding to the past while the birth of another is granted within a heartbeat.
Let it fall.
Let it live.
Let it fade.
Pull those strings from above, guide your body up. Forward. Keep sailing on. Drifting along. Keep holding on with open arms, till the embrace is effortless and release is welcome.
Till rain falls and every drop, every drop is felt.
About the Book:
Ryan Michael Sirois is author of the memoir, King of Stars. A modern coming of age story with themes of drug addiction, sexual exploration, spirituality and self-acceptance. The story follows Ryan as he faces issues of sexual identity and addiction, balancing worlds of light and dark, discovering himself by losing himself along the way. King of Stars shines light on the uncomfortable, on situations often left hidden in shadow. It is a voice for anyone who is searching, hiding, or standing still. Ryans book is for sale at ryansirois.com under the About the Book section.