Along our driveway we have this odd shaped Amur Maple. Which is more of an over-grown bush than a tree or a shrub. Most of the year in blends in and goes unnoticed. But come each September is becomes the prettiest thing in our yard. It is situated in such a way that it spends a good portion of eacj day a blaze in the sun and come evening glows like stained-glass as the sun filters through the backside of the leaves. The southern side is bright red and the northern side the palest of yellows. Stunning. Pruned with reckless abandon each spring when it is straggly and green. Praised for its beauty each fall.
I love the fall. I love the mild temps. I love the color. I love that you can see change happening. It is that change that always make me feel reflective. Today as I backed out of the driveway, I made a point to look at the pretty maple. I was shocked to see that only a few of it’s leaves remained. The ones at the tips of branches were all that remained. It instantly hit me. That is life. We know the time we have to enjoy it is limited, but if we’re not careful we miss it.
Today a friend’s son turned one. Today my husband and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. Today a college friend’s father passed away. Today a co-workers grandmother took her last breath. That is life. There is joy and newness. There are milestones. There is loss. And tonight I’m guessing we go to bed pondering the same question, where did the time go? Perhaps we wonder if we loved enough. Did we spend our time wisely? What would we do differently?
There are seasons to everything. Reminding ourselves of that is important. If the season is sweet, savor it, it won’t last. Likewise, if you’re in a dark season, rest assured that brighter days are ahead. We need that cycle. It is easy to wish that those sweet seasons would last forever. The reality is we’d take all the goodness for granted if it lingered. We need some sad news now and again to reconnect us with who and what really matters. A little crisis from time to time makes us appreciate the mundane. We need the leaves to change color in order for them to be noticed.
For the last month I’ve paid attention to those leaves. I’ve made a point of slowing down to take a look at them. They put on quite a show. And I still feel like I missed it.
The good stuff is like that, you always want more of it. As our son outgrows me I miss all those baby cuddles. In that exhausting season, I felt a bit smothered with all that clingy love. Now, when I’m lucky enough to feel his warm little hand in mine I know to soak it up. It likely won’t last for long.
I had planned a post on the 15 things I’ve learned in 15 years of marriage. That can wait for another day. Today, October 21, 2015, the famed Back To The Future day, I am reminded of the same lesson I seem to learn and relearn over and over again – be present in the now. Don’t get stuck in what was and don’t jump ahead to what might be. Live in the moment, for soon enough you’ll look back and wonder where did the time go?