I've become mildly obsessed with figuring out ways to be more conscious and aware of the present. I'm looking to try and extend the shelf-life of each moment. I'm like a broken record, I know it! It's just so good, these times. How else can I express it? I'm not sure if it's normal to be so achingly aware of how short this slice of time is with my little people.
I'm okay with time passing, I really am. I'm okay with growth and change. Or at least, I think I'm really learning to be. I'm slowly but surely cultivating a comfort with the fleeting aspects of experience.
The quality, the depth of the life, the lasting imprint of it all, is up to me. I know it. I can make my steps deliberate and deep on this journey, so that the footprints of our experiences forever leave their fossilized impressions on my heart and mind. Or they can be shallow. Shallow from a life that I chose to live in a quick sprint, spent spreading myself too thin and too far over the vast landscape.
I think I will only feel cheated if I don't carve out and allow myself to fully immerse and enjoy what is going on around me right now.
I have this fantasy. In it, I'm in my very old age, sitting in my rocker on the front porch, pondering my years. The setting sun is sneaking through the branches of our big oak trees which shade the yard, casting dancing light beams into the haze of a gentle summer evening. The deep hues of green permeating my gaze are complimented by the purple-ish blues of our good and plentiful hydrangea bushes. Because at some point in my life I hired a good gardener. As I sit there in my chair, I consider the bulk of my journey and am not able to recall every detail. I will probably have forgotten the specifics of countless precious words, thoughtful gestures, gut-deep emotions, loving embraces, and transcendent experiences that life offered me. There will probably be experiences and times I will wish I could forget too. And as I comb through my soul's archives I feel that ache of longing, those flashes of 20/20 hindsight, and possibly some well-earned pangs of regret. All a part of the normal inventory of a life spent learning. However, in my optimist's fantasy, the really good part, I somehow manage to escape the most despairing realization of all the years. The one which begins with the dreaded lament "oh how I wished I had noticed..." or "if only I had appreciated...". Instead, I will remember that I chose to experience the memories when I was actually in them. As a result, I will be free to relinquish the impossible quest to hold on, or rebuild, or relive what has already passed. I will be content that those details of my magnificently grand little life now reside etched into the deep laugh lines and numerous wrinkles surrounding my eyes that squinted too much when I smiled.