I tend to be a hedonist, somebody who enjoys pleasure.  I have used that wrongly in the past, but there is nothing wrong with pleasure in the proper (God’s) hierarchy.

I like seeing things.  I grew up just above the Adirondack Mountains, and still greatly enjoy seeing snow-covered peaks, regardless of where they are.

I like eating.  Bettie and I went to a 5-star restaurant for our fifth wedding anniversary, to a restaurant that no longer exists.  Nice food, but I remember the atmosphere more than what was on the plate.  Same for our cruise – yes, there was lobster, and chocolate, but I remember our waitress and the cabin steward more than I remember the dishes.

I like hearing things.  Some songs can bring me to the brink of tears (“I’m not really crying – it’s just really moist in here, so I’m drying the corners of my eyes.”), as can some sermons and thinking about the depths of God’s love.

And some things can’t be experienced anymore.  They’re gone.  That restaurant, The Maisonette, has shut its doors and now stands empty.  My aging muscles and joints prevent me from biking the way I used to, and my knowledge of what could happen if I crash prohibits me from riding for miles with no hands the way I did in high school.  Bettie and I went up in the World Trade Center during one of her programming trips to New York.  That experience cannot be recreated.

One more potential experience appears to be gone.  In Venezuela, Lake Maracaibo used to have nightly lightning storms.  Big ones – twenty thousand lightning bolts a night!  But those stopped in January, probably because of a drought.  Local fishermen counted on the lightning to help them see at night.  Back in 1595, Francis Drake had to call off a sneak attack when the lightning revealed his ships.

This was a great big “only-God-could-to-that” thing.  This ranks up there with the giant redwoods in jaw-droppingness.  There are apparently other similar naturally occurring events, but this one was the non-literal granddaddy of them all.

I am no lesser for not having seen it, but there’s now a cap on future awe.

I’m a little sad.

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