I read this really great blog post a little while ago that talked about the chance crossing of a squirrel and a human. Writer Michael Marvosh discusses this tiny chance moment as a perfect creation of every single series of events that has ever happened leading up to that point, and how in that moment he and the squirrel were the same.
It helped me better understand Walt Whitman’s poem “Miracles”.
“…To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same…”
The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of craziness; I spent three days in Daejon experiencing Chuseok with my close Korean friend and his family, then headed straight into a TDY assignment in Gyeryong to cover Ground Forces Festival where over one million people went to learn about and experience the ROK and US Army, then spent a weekend in Seoul competing in a CrossFit competition and enjoying life in the city with several close friends. Three different places, hundreds of faces, and several meaningful connections along the way.
And I can’t help but marvel at each connection I made, and how perfectly these connections were constructed.
The night that most exemplifies this was last Friday night. It was our first night on assignment down in Gyeryong, and after a bite to eat, we sat outside a convenience store enjoying the night and discussing life.
Then two people came up and started talking to us. One was from Ireland, one was from South Africa. We invited them to sit down, and for the better part of two or three hours we talked and laughed and pondered life and the Universe together.
Every event that has ever happened in the Universe led five people — two Americans, two Koreans, an Irishman, and a South African — to sit outside a small convenience store in a small South Korean town and share a genuine human connection with one another. A chance crossing of five completely different worlds, held together in a moment of conversation in which we found similarities and differences, but most of all the human inside one another. And in that moment, we were all the same. And, to quote Michael Marvosh, ‘…it was a perfectly unique moment, precious as only a perfectly unique thing can be.’
I think as we go along in this life, it’s easy to forget that we’re all humans and we all want the same thing: happiness. Peace and love. (I sound like such a hippie.) We also tend to not see the miracle in each and every moment, and just how beautiful that is.
The last thing the South African asked me about was World Peace. I told him I thought it had to come from an individual level in which love precedes hatred and fear in every person. (A long shot, I know.)
And he agreed with me.
“Love,” he said. “It’s all about love.”
With that, we bid them goodnight and I will probably never see them again in my life.
But I think I will always remember them. Because it reminded me that every moment, every connection is a beautiful miracle; a perfect construction of events that can lead us to beautiful places of connection with fellow human beings, and it is in these places that we can find and share love. And that’s the real beauty of these little miracles.