It was a horrible ending to a beautiful weekend. A contrast of epic proportions. Darkest of nights and the brightest of mid-days.

I was coming home from one of the most incredible weekends I have experienced in years, beaming with happiness. Three days of training in a martial art that I love, Systema, with the co-creator and master of the art, Vladimir Vasiliev. It would the equivalent of playing basketball with Michael Jordan or football with Joe Montana. Not just training with one of the best, training with THE best.

I was basking the the afterglow of the experience when on the opposite side of I4, for all of 2 seconds at most, I saw a dreadful accident. A man was lying on the Interstate, blood, glass and metal strewn everywhere. Cars were just beginning to stop and address the horrific sight. The police had not even arrived yet. The accident must have occurred literally moments become I drove past, some 40 feet in the opposite direction.

After wearing a smile for the better part of 72 hours, my reaction was virtually indescribable. The image left just an impression that even as I type this article, I still feel shaken. It was one of the most grisly, terrible images I have ever witnessed. (My thoughts and prayers go out to the individual and their family.)

The rest of the drive and ensuing unpacking, greeting my wife etc., was shadowed by this experience.

I wondered why I was one of maybe 50 or 60 individuals in cars that saw this sight. Having just completed one of the best trainings ever, feeling on top of the world, I would have thought visions of eagles and rainbows and unicorn would have been waiting for me along my trip home. Nothing could have been more opposite. Why? Why would this sequence of events unfold in such a steeply contrasting fashion? Such thoughts continue to flow in my consciousness.

As time has moved along, various impressions have seeped through the cracks, ones to be considered and more so, applied.

The one message that jumps into my thoughts is to appreciate every single moment, as each moment is a gift.

I had certainly not done that this weekend, nor most of my life. I deeply appreciated the moments I was training with Vlad. DEEPLY appreciated them. The time in between however, I viewed as a annoyance, something to be rushed through to get to the great moments. What I missed was that each moment – regardless of what is happening or not – is precious. Whether there are fireworks or finish lines, conversations or quietness, each moment is special gift. My error was regarding one moment has more worthy of respect than another. It is not. Each is important in their own right.

When I was in the hotel in between sessions, I wanted to be back training. It felt like I was wasting time waiting for the “good stuff.” I imagine that somewhere else was better than right now. If I could only be somewhere else, especially back in the dojo, I would be happy. If I could be there, I could find the answers or experience joy.

But everything is here now, right where I was. Right where I am now. There is no better place than here. No better time than now.

At times, lessons in life seems to fall gently in our lap. Some are forcibly handed to us, while others come in shattered dreams and cruel exploits.

For one person on the highway, it marked the end of one way of living and the beginning of another. For one person who witnessed the calamity, it had a similar effect.

Gifts come in very strange forms. Some are wrapped in gold. Others in blood.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. David Orman is the owner of