I've been doing a lot of avoidance strategies lately: facebook, netflix, reading blogs. I realized I was so busy for a while, it gave me a great sense of purpose. When things slowed down a little bit, I had a hole I needed to fill. Add to that a scare I had the other day (well, it hasn't gone away yet really) with a friend's health, and I found I was trying to escape my own life.
I was reading John Scalzi's blog, and ran across a post that really resonated: It's all beautiful and nothing lasts. He talked about a dream he had, and this is something he says in the dream. What struck me, was that it wasn't defeatist, it was motivational: it doesn't last so enjoy the heck out of life while you have it --whatever it is.
I went to my daughter's choir concert last night, and they had a mentally handicapped girl there participating. At the end of the first song, she screamed "more more" so the choir sang her favorite song for her. She was so over-stimulated that she kind of lost control, and was rubbing her face and shouting, and flailing, and I thought --her parents! The pain they must feel right now! The pain they feel every day! But I looked at the choir, and those kids just saw that they were making this girl happy. They saw beauty. I realized that you could see the moment in two different ways. I've been looking at things wrong a lot.
Excuse the clichéed simile with autumn and death. Each week I see more and more leaves fall, each week the beauty moves down the mountain. At first the brightest colors are the furthest away, but as winter and death gets closer, the color moves down towards the valley, toward my own front yard. Soon the aspens by my driveway will be bright gold; then they will be dead for winter.
With more intense feelings, even bad ones, come more beauty. I valued my friend more as I feared for her health. I mourn the loss of having little babies in the house, and passed a mom with a 6 month old in the grocery store yesterday, and said "you are so lucky!" I saw the beauty in the little baby girl precisely because my baby days were over. I don't remember if I knew how lucky I was when I had babies. I hope I did, but there is beauty in the remembering and yearning too.
So I run up the mountain, and enjoy the beauty even of the leaves that have fallen. When winter comes, I will no doubt exclaim over snow and ice crystals. I hope I can stop and enjoy listening to Ari and Kai's chatter after school today. Tia still thinks I'm funny sometimes. I hope I appreciate that now -- It won't last!
To see the beauty, I have to look for it in each moment. Remember with fondness, and not block the pain --there is beauty in the fallen leaves too.