“I held my breath…”

From Mary Oliver’s Snow Geese:

…I held my breath as we do sometimes to stop time when something wonderful has touched us….”

I’ve never thought of those breath-holding moments in that way, an effort to stop time, but it fits.  Immediately on being overtaken by that sense of wonder, we take that deep breath and hold it, as if in doing so we can freeze the moment in time.  And while we can’t stop time, thankfully, most of those moments, at least some of them, are stored in a virtual photo album lodged deep in the recesses of the mind.  It is as if the deep breath depresses the button and the camera of the mind does its thing.  We can, as we choose, pull those memories out and at recall the moment “something wonderful…touched us.”

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