Tuesday was such a day. My day started with teaching one of my favorite classes at work and I had approximately 1.5 hours to rush home, pump and then head downtown to help lead a teambuilding event. I flew into the house, threw my coat on the counter, grabbed a banana and headed for the living room to grab the pump so I could pump in the bedroom while delicately balancing my laptop on my lap to catch up on emails from the morning.
As I crossed through the dining room on my way into the living room, something stopped me right in my tracks. The midday light was streaming through the dining room windows and it illuminated a handprint on a chair. And from out of nowhere a voice, a kind, gentle voice came into my head and she said (yes, it was definitely a she although the voice was not my own), "Deep breaths mama, it doesn't last forever." I stared at that little hand and wondered when it had appeared. How long had it been there without me noticing it? How long will it stay there before time or a wet towel remove all evidence of the little boy who rested his hand on that chair for a brief moment before moving on. Why is it all going so fast? Why is life like a watercolor and not a work of pointillism where every moment is clearly identified and distinct? In 20 years when I step back to look at these days, will I see a canvas of blurry images that, with the benefit of perspective will appear sharp and clear or will it still look like a blur?
"It Doesn't Last Forever"
The next day was Wednesday and the great dance of my life commenced again before the sun even came up. With the haunting image of that handprint in my head I whisked the boys off to daycare, lingering perhaps a bit longer to see them off. On my way back to my car I had my second stop-dead-in-my-tracks moment of the week and captured another image that to the casual observer might appear commonplace or ordinary, but to me, the message was clear. In the midst of piles and piles of dead leaves, one, single, solitary brilliantly green leaf rested serenely on top. How in the world did this little green leaf hold on for so long? How has it still managed to retain this youthful perfection in the face of battering winds, rain, snow and sleet that have come and gone over the past few weeks?
Nowhere else on the entire curb did I see another one like it. All manner of dirty brown, orange and gold leaves were scattered about, but only one tiny green leaf. And the message was clear. It doesn't last forever and the hands of time are forever ticking ahead whether we are aware of it or not. But to let the passing of time cause some sort of paralysis is to forget that every single day is a chance to hold on to the moments we have been given. For today, my boys are that little green leaf who sit perfectly in the present, in the moment, against a sea of what could have beens and missed opportunities. It would be so easy as a parent to focus on the endless opportunities when we weren't present, weren't engaged, weren't connected. I think it's worth much more of our time focusing on what we get today. What we get today is that little green leaf. What we had yesterday is that handprint. Live in today.
"Deep breaths, mama"
After stopping to stare at my little leaf I sat in my car to reflect on all that I had learned over the past two days. As I took my deep breath I was overcome by the horrendous realization that at some point in my walk from the little green leaf to my car I had stepped in what should be described as the freshest possible droppings of someone else's dog to keep this blog beautiful. I can think of other words, but that might take you and I out of this magical place we're in right now.
Luckily our house is halfway between daycare and my work. I tore into the garage and examined my left foot. Clean. Then the right. Unclean. Of course. The foot I use to tap both the gas and the brakes. The shoes were chucked onto the deck to deal with at a later time and after putting on new shoes I grabbbed Lysol spray and paper towels and went about cleaning my floor mats and pedals. Satisfied that I had killed the germs and the smell I drove to work.
After one meeting first thing in the morning I had a few minutes until the next one and I used that opportunity to call the Disney Store to inquire about an order that I made for Christmas.
"Thank you for calling the Disney Store, this is Charlene, how can I make your day more magical?"
Silence. Then, absolute laughter.
Oh universe, how do you know just what to say?
"Charlene, I have to tell you, it wouldn't take much to make this day more magical."
But in reality, this has been a magical week, it's a magical life. I see these little signs all over that lead me to believe that there is a gigantic conspiracy going on to tell us that it's all going to be ok. If that was God who whispered in my ear, "Deep breaths mama, it doesn't last forever," then we have the kindest, most benevolent God. And whoever is whispering in your ear telling you that life is working out exactly as it's supposed to, I hope you take a moment to listen. And if, for today, it's me, then I'll say the same thing to you...
Deep breaths my friend, it doesn't last forever, so enjoy it while it lasts.
|Touch the Sun piece was a school project developed by Hungarian artist Sakura Chrno in just three days. |
A single image, brought together by clusters of thousands of dots.