We would be in this place only this one time; we would never return to this spot again, ever. It was very special to us and became the most important memory of our whole vacation.
Even so, as I think about it, every moment is a one-time experience.
When we are unconscious, we fail to remember that no matter where we are, the moment is unique. Each moment is fresh and new. We don't actually have to travel to an exotic place to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When we are awake in the moment, we are standing in our place of greatest power and opportunity.
It is only in the moment that we can experience anything---even past memories or future imaginings. We can remember the past only in the present. We can visualize the future only in the present. We can make plans for the future or analyze data from the past but we can do it only in the present.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
(Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/heraclitus.html )
Every moment we have the possibility of being reborn, of beginning again, of truly renewing ourselves. How exciting is that? We can become whole, healed, and well through the renewing of our mind. We don't have to drag around yesterday's disappointments, regrets, and angers unless we choose to; we can let them go. Learn from them constructively, then let them go.
Sometimes it takes going to a new, different environment to wake us up to the fact that we don't have to go anywhere at all to renew ourselves. We can become new at home, too.
But the fact that each moment is unique no matter where we are, and offers the possibility of liberation, doesn't diminish the importance of the individual and particular. Do I want to hurry back to the boat and drink beer? Well, no; I can always sit and drink beer. But I can't always have this direct experience of ocean and island and grassy cliff, of playing directly with this unique chi and having this particular unique experience. To put it another way, even though every moment is unique, not all moments have the same contents. In some moments, there are things we have never experienced the likes of before.