On a walk this week, I captured a snapshot of this flower. The pink and yellow hues soft and tender, the strength and simultaneous fragility on display for those who choose to pay attention. I’ve talked about how much my walks and runs are integral to my well-being, as is my friendship with nature. My gaze continues to look to the universal, whether it is the sky, the ground or the flowers that inhabit my space. It’s a place where I find comfort, when I can’t make sense of the world. The passage of time feels bearable in the context of knowing some truths will remain – the trees that have existed for years, the expansiveness of the blue sky, and the guarantee the sun will rise and set every single day.
I lean into these truths, especially in times of melancholy. In the last few weeks, I’ve marveled at time as an elusive phenomena, but am aware, that when I wake every single morning, the unfolding of the day offers a chance to pursue the mundane and exquisite, the boring and enchanting, to engage in sorrow and joy and to love and dislike. There is an insurmountable contentment in having a chance to unroll time, mold it into what I want and watch how it emerges. I bear witness to many beginnings – the morning footsteps of my daughter barreling into our room, to the funny exchanges with my husband, the glance at the sky to see how the clouds have positioned themselves and the welcome I am privy to when I sit down to write my words for the day. I never know how these beginnings will unravel, but yet I am here, able to enjoy or express my disdain. And that is important. What more do I want than the privilege of being here?
It is all transient, the beginnings and endings and this realization brings me to my knees, repeating, “This.Right.Now.Is.Enough.” This thread of thought is what I felt earlier this year when I said in part,
I am not certain when I leaned that transience is life or life is transient. Perhaps it was when my grandmothers died or when I found out my father was terminally ill or when I married or gave birth to our daughter. The constant fluctuations, the shifts in my small and big moments empower and frighten me. The simultaneous occurrence of these diametrically opposite emotions makes it hard to keep my balance, a constant state of metaphorical vertigo.
How do I keep centered, knowing every good moment passes into the ether? I become more present, sinking into the laughter, the glee, the camaraderie of a good book, family time and of course that moment my eyes meet the sky. I am aware how quickly the spindle spins in different directions, speeding up and slowing down, either tilting toward joy or melancholy. The glory of knowing that every single emotion is temporary is one that comforts in joy and centers in sadness.
Sometimes, fully immersed in my life, I forget that what I am experiencing will pass. I remember again by looking up, hands joined, wondering what the sky will do next. Never the same sunrise or sunset. Always transient and impermanent. And this reminds me to Stop. Pause. Pay attention.
Time and transience. It reminds of one of my favorite writers, W. Somerset Maugham and his words, “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”