There is something about staring into the eyes of a little one. Those deep pools of wide-eyed contemplation…able to stare right back with unabashed curiosity. It is a silent mutual acknowledgment between two bits of humanity… knowing that we will somehow change each other’s life in some measurable way.
There is something about receiving a smile from the lips of a little one. The grin that grows from their toes and makes one feel hope, optimism, and excitement for the future. How could life not be so is whispered in my ear from somewhere in my heart.
There is something about seeing your child within the spirit of a little one. That child that you cradled so many years ago during the midnight hours while others slept. That child who came to you with boo boos to be kissed, hands to be held, and homework to be discussed. That child who you watched grow before your eyes into an adult…and now looking back with those deep pools, I am reminded that this is the past, present and future before me… This is love.
How do I move along in life when the wind of time breathes heavily at my back? It pushes my journey down an unexplored dirt road…waiting for my footprints to mark upon the untouched ground before me. I walk this road with a full pack upon my back that carries the treasure of yesterday within its zippered pockets. Once more I yearn to look back on before, filled with the good, the bad and the amazing…memories that flash as quickly as the blink of my eye. I try to grab ahold of them and a few slip into view and make me smile. That bittersweet smile of knowing that yesterday will always be with me but spent like the end of the day- with a beautiful sunset. Something I will always reflect upon.
Yesterday, a time when I looked ahead toward tomorrow with a desire to reach there before today arrives. Yesterday, a time when I thought this chance at change would ever reach my door. But now I hear it knocking… and as I consider answering…I wait.
It is difficult to step into the unknown…exciting yes, but difficult to leave that which is known and familiar. I wish to celebrate this time in my life and I will do so with a cup of sweet, fruity wine and my heart full of times that I will forever cherish. I believe our life journey makes us who we are and who we will be. My sincerest wish is that my past footprints leave something for others to follow upon. I hope those to be made are created with a dance of gratitude. So now I will answer that door… well hello retirement.
Who do we want to become? Is it wealth that will make us feel fulfilled and successful? Making sure that those who lie below us in the financial bed either rise and shine to work (because they are all just lazy) and get off public assistance…or be drug tested and continuously reminded that they are less valuable and less deserving of our respect…or tax dollars. While we all know many CEO’s and corporate individuals abuse drugs in abandon yet are handed our $$ without anyone giving a care or asking them to be drug tested. Why I ask?
Who do we want to become? Is it kissing the feet of corporate America, while providing them with millions in tax cuts as we silently wish to be them? Chanting the mantra of capitalism in the hope and dream that we too can reach this peak and look down upon those who have not “made it” as we count our money and feeling “blessed” that our God has given us such a life. Yet fault the less fortunate for not making their life better.
Who do we want to become? Is it stoking the fire of fear and despair and creating a world where we believe first and second amendment rights are ready to be ripped away from us from some unknown force? Where in turn we pack on the guns, (to protect ourselves from ourselves), store survival gear in preparation of Armageddon and ready ourselves to kill our neighbors if necessary.
Who do we want to become? I want none of the above. Yet daily I read of Bills being passed that are leading us down this dangerous, self-righteous slope. Soon to hit a very dark bottom. I have the desire and the will to fight this with compassion, love, and a desperation that our world will not end up this way. I refuse to spit upon those who have not what I have, I refuse to fuel the fire of fear, I refuse to think that one religion is the only way out of here. I refuse to think that more guns are the answer as I watch time and again the young children dying needlessly. I refuse to believe that the little guy does not matter. So I will help you someday, if I see that you need something and I can help. I will give you my hand without asking your religion or political interests. I will share a smile with you without asking if you pay your taxes or have a green card handy. I will not look at your age, race or sexual orientation in determining if you are worthy of my time. I refuse to lose my humanity. Who do you want to become?
Every day life greets me with change. Some days I welcome the newness of the day…other times I cling to that which we have long known and understood…and loved. When someone who has been part of my life since birth and who has shared in the many family milestones along the way passes…well it immediately tugs at my heart and soul in longing for the familiar ways of yesterday. The many gatherings of laughter shared, jokes told around the table, and basically the life journey shared not only by genetic code but by the sharing of tears, joy and family love.
And so I whisper in the silence that I will miss the past and the people tangled up in my memories. While I believe that life is truly never-ending and this is just but one stop on the fantastic journey… I will always miss those who make their way before me. I will miss you Uncle…older brother to my mother. You have moved on to once again connect with those who have gone before you… I can only imagine the reunion to be full of wit and peppered with jokes and sweet sarcasm – and I smile.
As I get ready for another day, I remind myself of that which I continuously take for granted. I look around me in wonder of all that is and I feel a knowingness that words do not explain. And then once again I remind myself…
The beauty of our present is captured in the fragility of life – not knowing what tomorrow will be yet remembering what yesterday was…
Did you hear it go? The briefest of moments has past – now mingled in with yesterday. It slipped beyond possibility and hope and lies within memories and undone business. I never hear it leave yet I know when it is missed. Like the sunset, when I briefly turn away…gone.
So once again I will reach ahead and plan to grab some moments before me, pull them closer and not waste them by looking away. In order to “catch the moment” I must embrace it with hope, desire and a willingness to see it through, even if it is not to my original intent or liking. I remind myself that moments are like clay, they can be softened and molded and created. The artistry is in the inspiration. The inspiration is in the knowledge. The knowledge is in the soul. The masterpiece is made when I let my soul create and not my ego. It is then that I can step back and enjoy the moment and call it mine.
It is hard and takes ongoing practice to live in the present. Negativity and pessimism tend to weigh down and drag out my thoughts. I have come to liken them to unwelcome visitors, I try to move them along without much ado. There are those days that they repeatedly knock at my door.
So as I sit here and tap away…so do the moments before me. Yet these writing moments tend to float and drift rather than briskly rush into the past. They linger with just a hint of possibility. They give me reassurance that tomorrow is just a moment away…filled with unending opportunities to open my present to myself. Now I ask you, do you have a moment to spare?
Capturing the right words to express my pure love and gratitude for you…well it is much like trying to take hold of the sweet summer breeze that gently brushes my face. A daunting task as I cherish you beyond description.
Life can bring many storms upon my door. I find that you unselfishly provide me with a shelter of warmth, compassion, respect, safety and stability…when the clouds have gathered and the thunder roars.
Life can bring darkness, despair and a chill to my heart. Your love is my sunshine that chases away the bitter cold and brightens my soul.
Life can bring many challenges and obstacles. Difficult days yet with you I feel hope, encouragement and a precious peace. I look towards tomorrow and dare to dream with you by my side.
But not to forget, life can bring laughter, celebration and exquisite joy. This I have found with you. I absolutely could not imagine life any other way. I believe that I have known you forever and a day and I will love you every bit as long…or longer.
It is quiet now. Yesterday is finding its special place in my heart of memories. Tomorrow yet to be. As I sit here and reflect, life settles back into a semblance of unwanted order. I yearn for just one more hour of the rush and flurry of activity even though my body declares exhaustion. I wish for the continued gathering of friends and family yet they dutifully now find their way back to their homes. Always difficult for me…these winding down quiet times.
I believe it is the unknown path of tomorrow that plants the seed of anxiety within. Watered by tears and emotions of sweet nostalgic essence, I discover it is up to me whether I tend the growth of this weed or deny its existence. I fight the battle and tell myself tomorrow will be full of many yesterdays to look forward to and I will myself to find my way there.
I have always felt this twisting of the stomach and ache of the heart after wonderful events in my life are complete. Silly I know….while many find relief and sense of completion, I find a bit of grief and lingering malaise. Hmmm…. Here we go again. As so many times before, I will find this disappear in time as I move along in life and accept that life moves along whether I want it to or not. So I grudgingly shuffle my feet off to bed and reflect upon all the amazing and wonderful new memories that have been made, secretly and silently hoping for many more.