For me, there’s no better way to really grasp the transitory nature of life than spending a sunrise on a beach.
I arrive in the capsule of dark, hearing the waves just beyond my vision. I trudge through the sand as the blackness begins to thin to grey, and a glowing orange streak erupts on the horizon. The beach is mostly empty.
I look around, and I see that the scene is constantly changing. As soon as I process one moment, it’s gone; another one, markedly different, has taken its place. The moments stack up, running into each other and forming a tide of change; before I can collect myself, the sun is on the scene again, the grey is gone, and I can see the ocean. Darkness has dissipated again, and a fresh day is here.
The entire process unfolds with overwhelming speed, and my mind isn’t up to the task of taking it in. This is the pace of time, after all. That may be why I’m so obsessed with plucking out the moments that would otherwise vanish into the ether, and tucking them away in my memory like marbles in a bag.
I don’t think the human brain is well adapted for understanding that the nature of life is ever-shifting, that the next moment will be a scene change. Sometimes we spend too much time in moments that have already gone. The sunrise is a good reminder.