Back when I was in chemo – what has become a long time ago now – we experienced one of those rare astronomical events, a particularly vivid meteor shower. I set the alarm for 3 or 4AM, put on my flannel robe and some boots, and went outside. The cimmerian sky was crystalline in the early morning chill. Flashes of fire lit the darkness – fat, thin, fuzzy, perfectly etched, zig-zagging, swirling, arcing straight across the the dome of dark. A cacophony of light. Beautiful, perfect destruction.
I wept. It was the only response I had to my amazement and gratitude. And in my gratitude, I remember allowing myself my first glimmer of hope. If the universe was capable of producing this display, just maybe, somehow, I might survive my disease.
But if I didn’t, I was grateful to have lived in a universe where such a thing could exist and be observed.
I felt the same way walking on stage to play a Brahms symphony. I no longer remember which one. It was my favorite at the time. But they all are. Each time I play a Brahms or Beethoven symphony, I am sure that the one I am playing right then is my favorite. But I would walk on stage thanking the universe for creating such perfection. It gave me hope – in a world in which something of such beauty and order could be created, perhaps my cells could be brought back into order. And if they couldn’t, once again, I was thankful to have existed for a little while in the presence of perfection.
Looking back on it, it seems so childlike – that somehow because one good thing exists, maybe I could be lucky. Perhaps it’s just that childlike sense of wonder and hope that we all need. Perhaps that is precisely what makes us hope for one more day, one more chance.
Blessings and gratitude to you all – you enrich my life.