A murder of crows is taking off from a guard tower of the great wall. Now they're riding the up-draft above a narrow, forested side valley below where I stand on the next tower. Their distinctive cries to each other are all that break the silence of this isolated morning hike. They're saying, "there is only now."
At three a.m. the same morning I had awoken to the newly-risen moon, newly bathing everything in sight in a washed out glow. The kind of glow that says, "I'm rewarding you for being the only soul awake late enough to witness this." To witness the glowing wall stretching out and up before us, the glowing mountains around us, the small village to our left, and the Buddhist temple in front. A glow that said, "there is only now." How many Chinese soldiers have stood on the wall before and had the same experience? Under went the same emotions? In virtue of the fact that we share similar wiring.
I could fit the universe into that moment. I could have fit all the stars in the night sky and the billion billion others into that single moment, because, what is size? How big does a thing have to be to matter? There could be universes inside of atoms (literally). And our universe could be perched on a wart on the tail end of a moor hen.
"There is only now." Is the power of that human truth what connects us, across cultures and across time?