One of the things on my “bucket list” was touring all the world’s greatest Opera houses. So last year when I spoke in Milan, it was an opportunity to see La Scala, the great house that Verdi had such a close association with.
I visited during the off-season, so the house was closed. But the Museo Teatrale located off the foyer was open. There were only some velvet ropes and one guard between me the historic theatre. I’ll take the 5th amendment on exactly how it happened, but of course I found my way inside.
I made my way through some hallways and found the entrance to the private boxes. I opened the door and entered one, the majestic theatre came into sight, and I involuntarily gasped! Then tears came to my eyes. Sitting there for ten minutes was one of the most spiritual occurrences I have ever experienced.
The tradition, history, and energy are so thick in the building you can cut it with a knife. You can almost hear Arturo Toscanini conducting the opening concert, or picture the premiere of Verdi’s penultimate opera, Otello, which took place there in 1886.
I’ve had similar moments. Once while driving to Key West, I pulled over, hypnotized by a waterspout churning it way across the ocean. Another when I kissed someone goodbye and told them I loved them, just before they died. Yet another, simpler, but no less profound, was waking up one morning, seeing the sunrise, and deciding I would never take drugs again.
There are many magic moments in life. Moments that make you gasp, or laugh, or cry, or just kneel down in gratitude. But you have to look for them. And notice them when they appear. And know, there will always be another one...
So what’s your moment?