A Top 10 Moment

Do you ever have one of those incredible life experiences that fast-forwards you to your last chapter when you'll recollect all of your top ten moments... those moments when you felt most alive and inspired and humbled and loved? A top ten moment transcends time as both a tangible experience as you're absorbing it and as a memory as you're appreciating it. You know in that moment that you'll be returning there again and again and revisiting the same smells and sounds and colors and light. You know as you're in it, you'll be reliving it so you soak in every detail with the deepest gratitude.

It may have taken two years, but I'm finally culling and editing photos from our wedding/honeymoon trip to Italy in 2018. Previously, I had edited only 15 images plus our wedding day with another 4,000 raw files left completely untouched. Here's what's been waiting for me:

This moment right here... a top 10 life moment... lying in a poppy field in the Tuscan countryside outside of Montepulciano with the sun just sitting on the horizon like it was setting just for us... a cinematic moment when I felt like a co-star in an Italian love film... a moment when I swear I heard Andrea Bocelli singing in the distance... a moment after a day of speaking Spanish to the locals at a gas station to get directions to a vineyard thinking I could somehow fool them into believing I spoke fluent Italian (they weren't impressed)...

a moment after a day's worth of wine tasting on verandas, in wine cellars, and outside of quaint little cafes and eating pasta al fresco in conversation with a couple from Sweden in the village square...

a moment after sitting in a 16th century Renaissance church and lighting candles and saying a pit-stop prayer...

a moment following a day of petting Italian goats and eating their cheese and wondering if they even understand how good they have it grazing in the Tuscan countryside...

a moment with an adoring husband patiently waiting after several hours of obsessive poppy photography knowing we were going to be driving back to our villa in the dark with no navigation or cell reception. Just one more picture...

a moment when with all of my excitement at the previous poppy field I managed to forget that I had set down my camera bag before driving to this particular poppy field only to have to turn around and hope my camera equipment was where I left it a few miles back...

a moment, this serendipitous moment, of being grateful for my absent-mindedness so we could return here 30 minutes later when the light was completely magical... all hazy and warm like God poured a film of honey over the field while we were away...

a moment of feeling fiercely loved by God while He turned His creation scarlet and gold and colors I had never seen before... a moment, a rare moment, when everything was exactly how I imagined it would be in the fairy tale land they call Tuscany... and all with this incredible man God brought to be at my side... a moment when I believe I tasted Heaven and was given a preview of eternity with Jesus just sitting there waiting when time no longer matters except in the anticipation of being joined by everyone I love. A top 10 moment that I return to constantly. 

P.S. Oh, and also a moment that preceded us getting lost literally driving on what looked like a cow trail in the dark for miles and miles until randomly, and quite miraculously, bumping into a familiar countryside cemetery to point our way back "home." Worth it.

Share this story