The most important things in life happen in one second!
I have always had this conviction, which is closely linked to the 4th dimension: time.
Every second is a completely different event from the previous and the next, and therefore becomes something isolated.
What causes everything that happens now, happens this second and not another.
- The moment you hear your baby for the first time: 1 second;
- The exact instant you realise you fell in love with someone: 1 second;
- The time your brain takes to block the external environment to protect you when you find out you have an incurable disease: 1 second;
- Look away while driving and dying right there: 1 second;
- Fraction of time taken by the Univers to stand still when you find out you’re going to become a father: 0,1 second 😉
- The time needed to seat down when you are notified about the death of a close one: 1 second;
- The moment your body shuts down and you’re no longer a part of this world: 1 second;
- Duration of the word “Yes” whenit gains the value of building a lifetime with someone: 1 second (well, some might take a little longer);
And one second, sometimes, it’s way too long
Yesterday Emma fell off the couch. And my heart took less than one second to stop.
One second. It was how much I needed to experience the taste of true fear for the first time in my life.
In order not to know my name, or where I was, or what I was doing in the second immediately before, when life was good, the reality was different and everything was just fine.
One second was all it took for the hypothalamus and amygdala to take over the brain and my body to drastically increase the temperature until it started to sweat, the heart rate raise up until it became impossible to control breathing and my mouth to dry out as if outside it was unbearably hot.
One second was what it took me to react! To lift her off the floor, where she had fallen without any protection other than the fact that we have a low couch and having that rubber body that babies receive from factory settings.
One second was what I took to scan Emma from top to bottom to make sure I didn’t see any blood or anything that seemed out of place. Or that seemed strange to me. Or that looked like anything, since I didn’t even know what I was looking for.
And less than one second was the time it took me to hold her tight in my arms.
One second was what it took her to start crying like I had never heard before. Kicking so hard I feared she would jump right out of my arms.
Despair, fear, panic, all mixed up, with her eyes staring at mine, completely lost without understanding what had just happened to her.
And she doesn’t have to! How could she?
She doesn’t know yet that falling on the ground will became something normal, that won’t matter that much, that happens everyday to everyone. She doesn’t know yet that she’ll get up, look at me, smile, and start running in another direction.
This had never happened to her and that’s why it was so scary.
Just like my heart had never stopped before and that was scary as hell. I’m well aware it’s going to stop a few times along the way, specially as she ventures into life and I’m hopping it gets less scary every time. But it had never stopped before. And yesterday it did.
And it was only when I took her dummy and I saw a glimpse of a smile, as if she was saying “Everything’s fine, daddy” that it started beating again.
I’m afraid it always going to be like this, huh? My heart will stop every time something happens until she tells me “Everything’s fine, daddy“, so that it can start beating again.
One second! It was all it took me to lost track of my existence, to die and come back.
It is, therefor, important to realise what we need to live fully: one second at a time.
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