Monday, July 13, 2015

Five Good Things

Pictures on my phone, this morning, included two selfies of me trying to pick a fabric color for a dress, Geoff cooking, yummy food (mediocre pictures), and the photograph I stole from Anna Banana... fields of lupines before a lake, with glacier cut valleys, and towering plateaus. She's in Iceland. It's a stunning image.


Well, I thought I would share pictures from a party, from last week. But honestly, don't you want to see Iceland, first?
The colors are so heavenly, even the distant slopes are muted hues of blues and purples. It makes my mind whirr to think of standing before so many flowers, wild, overcoming the scene. My imagination is captured.

Good Things...

1. Summer vacations, and the friends who share their pictures. If you ever wonder whether it's a good idea to share your vacation memories in social media, whether people like that sort of thing... well, you have my vote!

2. Watching Pride & Prejudice with Diana, Stacy, William, and Maria... giggling, swooning, and enjoying good company.

3. Hearing from my mom that things go well with our Oregon family... with our growing Oregon family. Soon, Henry and Eva will join the Northwest ranks!

4. Observing the pleasures of summer enjoyed by William, Alex, Max, and Maria... reading, sewing, sculpting, programming, sleepovers, card games, walks and talks.

5. Learning the details of Alex and Bambi's impending Scotland adventure!

Monday, mid-July... the days, the weeks, are passing swiftly by.

I have always envy-admired the passages in novels where the protagonist recalls every detail of a time, or place, or any descriptive account of an event in someone's life, practically photographic. The story teller professing to recall, oh so vividly, every significant and minor article, as though nothing could slip their notice, or escape their memory. I've wondered if, before photography, before recordings, and easy supplies of papers and pens were at hand, if we actually noticed more, paid closer attention, trained our minds to hold onto views, shapes, fragrances, the sounds of someone's laugh, a bird's call, lines of poetry... to reminisce, to recite, to remember. And it's not just the passing of our summer days, that makes me reflect on memory, on slowing things down by paying close attention... my children are growing, as children do, and I miss their baby-selves, those toddling days, and all those summers past. I have adored and cherished every day, each new year, sharing with them, watching them. And I have tried to diligently observe, appreciate the details, be in the moment, as they say... but, still, the days pass, and suddenly toddlers are adults, and the little changes amount to new interests, new plans, new views, and however closely I was minding everything, appreciating all I could, we seem to have hurled ourselves through space and time, and here we are... in the future, and still moving forward. It all passes swiftly by.

It did not happen without warning, this time rush. I can recall the wistful looks of adults, the sighs, the admonitions from weary grown-up people... they seemed to relish telling me that life is short, to expect time to sneak up on me, for everything to pass quickly by, but at sixteen, or twenty, what can it mean? We have little to compare our time with, so the warnings, while duly noted, were more abstract than practical, less inspiring than simply gloomy forecasts. Happily, my Mommy consoled me with this... Grow up? Don't fret too much about being "grown-up." Think of your favorite people, of the happiest people. Do they stop playing, stop exploring, stop learning, or sharing? No. The happiest people retain their wonder, nurture joy, and they play. There's no question that things will change, that we will have our duties and chores, that time will pass, and quickly, too... but thank goodness for play, for wonder, imagination, for mindfully observing the details, and appreciating the good things.


gretchenjoanna said...

I always enjoy, with some melancholy, any discussion of time and memory. It's a bittersweet reality of being human, that we lose so much of our past, so many of those little details that were crucial to the moment. The sweet part is that we retain memory at all, and that our minds will produce at least some beloved (or even painful) experiences for us to consider from those ages past. This was a thought-provoking post - so glad you took the time to muse.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I am so glad you took the time to share your thoughts. And I agree... it is sweet that we can retain any memory at all. A favorite uncle is losing his memories, because of Alzheimer's. Now, that is a twisted and cruel fate, far worse than simply feeling nostalgic. Bittersweet, indeed. Thank you for musing with me, GretchenJoanna.