You probably all remember those glorious two months of summer when you were a kid, when school was out for the best time of the year and the next hazy cricket-hum days were spent running around like wild, swimming, playing, exploring, until the sun went down and your parents called you home. I can always distinctly remember that the end of summer – and going back to school – meant putting on my socks. The socks would feel real funny, as it was the softest thing my callused feet (a.k.a. “summer hooves”) experienced in what was like, forever.
This memory always gets me to thinking. If only I had known the very last time my little summer hooves experienced that soft velvety sockness I would have KNOWN that was the last time that we ever had a full two months of the best times of our lives to run around carefree like the wind…
I read somewhere once that we humans are eternal optimists, that we live our lives as though the moments ahead are infinite, and that at any time we choose, we could experience any one moment again. The reality is that these experience possibilities are not infinite, they are finite, and when it comes to the sum total of our lives we never really know when we’ve experienced the last of something.
For example, over your lifetime you may only fully watch 134 sunsets, you might only ever have (gasp!) 57 perfect cappuccinos, or 78 swims in the ocean… but the possibility of the 135th sunset, the 79th swim, and the 58th perfect cappuccino, is always there. It seems that for us, Pandora’s Box rings eternal and it’s a blessing, as we think that there will always be another sunset to fully appreciate, never really knowing that the one we watched way back when was actually our last.