That line above comes from a TV commercial running presently. I couldn't tell you what the product is, I want to say a car, but I can't remember. That will no doubt disappoint the writer of said commercial. (Actually, I may not even be remembering the wording correctly; it's really not an effective ad.)
Normally a question like that would make me roll my eyes. How much more banal can you get? It's right up there with 'have you ever eaten something tasty? Heard something beautiful? Felt excited? Do you like fun?' The first time I heard it though, instead of snorting derisively, I found myself vividly recalling one such amazing sight.
I was ten years old, sitting in the back seat of a car my family had rented in Ireland. We were driving along the west coast, in view of the ocean. It might come as a surprise to know it was raining. As a kid I loved being in the car during big downpours. I loved watching the raindrops stream up along the windows, the sound of water on the roof, tires on the wet road. Watching storms from a house window was fun too, but it was so much better doing it inside a car, a moving 360 degree view, especially if the landscape was stunning and spacious by itself. I have many fond memories of rainy car trips in Ireland and the UK. Only recently did it occur to me how nerve-wracking those experiences must have been for my parents. Driving an unfamiliar car, on unfamiliar, narrow, poorly maintained country roads, frequently around blind mountain passes, on the left, during a torrential downpour? And let's not forget having to keep alert for flocks of sheep. I doubt my parents were having much fun. It says a lot that they didn't prevent me from enjoying it.
This particular day we came around a hill to the sight of great sheets of rain marching in from the Atlantic, coming up onto shore and across some cliffs. And 'march' is the only way to describe it. The rain looked like it had been carefully arranged in rows, evenly spaced, all moving at a brisk yet controlled pace. At that distance, the storm seemed planned, at least organized. Whether I thought it consciously or not, I suspect I was also awed by the scale. This storm was probably several miles long, at least a few miles tall, but from where we were it was a single entity, one enormous, awe-inspiring battalion. I may not have had the good sense to be frightened, but I was definitely awed by the size and power of it. .
I'm not sure why the commercial copy triggered this particular memory, but I'm grateful that it did. It has me wanting to compile a list of personal experiences that I would consider amazing. Rough categories are already forming in my head; there are all the ones involving weather and landscapes, ones involving animals, and the ones involving works of art or performance, just for starters. Not really sure what will be gained by recording these memories, but I plan on finding out.
How about you? Does this question trigger a specific memory for you, or does it just make you roll your eyes? What is the most awe-inspiring thing you've seen or experienced? Care to share? Feel free to do it in the comments section, or share a link if you do it on your own blog.