The other morning the sky turned pink as the sun was getting up out of bed and it cast a delicate rosy hue to the frosted grass.
The pink had faded away within minutes and the frost was gone by the end of the morning.
Transience is held in high regard in the Japanese aesthetic of “wabi sabi”. I’ve written a few times about the phenomenon of the annual cherry blossom festivals in Japan, but that’s just one of the most prominent expressions of this admired quality.
What is it about transience that makes something so special? Isn’t our instinct to want to hold on? To grasp at whatever pleases us? To try to resist change?
Well, there’s no doubt we have those qualities, but just as all human life is filled with paradoxes and opposites, we have this attraction to transience too.
I knew instantly that the pink in the sky would be gone within minutes. And I was pretty sure the frost wouldn’t last all day either! But that drew me right in to being fully present. And that’s what I think this quality of transience does for us. It heightens the experience of now.
The pre-socratics used to say start every day knowing that whatever you experience today will be for the first time ever, and knowing also that whatever you experience today will be for the last time ever. Every moment is unique. Every day is special. No two experiences are exactly the same.
So whatever you encounter today, savour it, relish it, enjoy it to the full.