I was listening to one of my favourite songs today. It is in Italian and sung by Andrea Bocelli, and I don't have a clue what it is about. The song starts well and has a good middle, but it is near the end that it really takes off. The music swells and Andrea's voice rises up, he holds the note and then crashes over like a wave into the rest of the song. To me, it is a affirmation of life, and a vocal representation of those moments when everything is going well and you think 'yes!'. It makes me thrill just to listen to it. I get goosebumps waiting for the best bit to come along. If I have my ipod in and I am listening to it, I grin and quicken my step at that point. There are several other songs, movies and books that have this effect on me with these kind of climactic scenes. It got me thinking, wouldn't it be wonderful to collect all these great climactic pieces together and make a super feel good motivational boosting collage of moments. However, without what has gone before, would they have the same impact? Would Ripley's defeat of the alien in Alien or Aliens mean as much if you hadn't followed her journey throughout the movie? Would the collection of the nine bells have spine tingling importance if you hadn't read the Abhorsen trilogy from start to finish? Would Andrea's jubilant high note make you tingle if you hadn't heard the build up of the song? It made me question whether these high points are truly great in isolation, or is it the sum of all that has gone before that makes them great. Like our own lives, do we have one defining moment of wonder, beauty and greatness, or is the significance of our greatest victory actually dependant on all the little ones that have preceded it along the way?