It’s not about lifetimes. It’s about moments.
No one intends to forget the taste of life known during their early years. Yet as the earth rotates and circles the sun, life gets busy, rushed, stressful. We tend to brush aside today for what seems more important, making it to the next paycheck, planning for retirement or just getting through today.
It’s easy to lose sight of the road we’re rolling over now and focus on the mile marker of the next destination. In hindsight, it’s a tragedy to bypass today for tomorrow, assuming tomorrow actually comes.
When life’s sun begins to set in the Western sky, human nature ponders more moments of the day. Moments tend to become more precious. The mind begins to wander, wondering what was forgotten, downplayed or just missed altogether in the past. Life goes so fast.
No one on their deathbed asks for their 401(k) statement, primps in the mirror, or looks just one more time at a problematic carpet stain in the hallway. We want people. People we share life with. People we love.
When are the demands of an allusive, never completely satisfying dream of “retirement” fulfilled? Where’s the tipping point in accumulating items, only one day to start getting rid of them because it takes too much time to clean, maintain and repair the “stuff”? When is enough “success”, enough? Is it mandatory that gray hair leaks through the scalp before we stop planning tomorrow and live today? I don’t know.
Life can be like catching fireflies. The firefly’s there. It blinked. You move toward its last gentle flash, but then it flashes 10 feet away in an unexpected direction. Occasionally you catch a firefly and put it in a Mason jar with air holes in the lid, but you can’t keep it, not for long.
If you grab too tightly, the flashing ceases. If you don’t grab at all, you never see it up close.
No one intends to miss life’s flashing moments. We just do, and it’s often the most commonplace things that take our breath away if, if we see the flash.
It’s sweating during a summer walk and the taste of winter snowballs before throwing one.
It’s a short interaction with a drive through window worker. It’s noticing how grocery store apples are uniformly arranged, yet each apple is brilliantly unique.
It’s salt on watermelon, the sound of a pencil on paper, children laughing, the cough of a man smoking cigarettes on a park bench.
It’s helping an old lady up the curb, smiling at a stranger, the smell of morning coffee.
We miss so much when we scarf down days like a dog wolfing up a bowl of food.
It’s nothing, nothing to say, yet it’s all, all a story to tell.
It’s the story of Spring buds, Summer leaves, rustic red Fall leaves, and Winter leaves falling.
It’s a toddler laughing until he cries, and later crying himself to sleep.
It’s memories of good times that get better the more they’re told, and how the cutting blade of bad memories dull over time.
It’s birth and death, work and rest, laughter and tears, taunts and cheers.
It’s how moments keep going when we deplore life the most, yet how treasured moments escape like wind through the fingers when trying to catch and hold them forever.
Catch today’s fireflies, or at least, see and acknowledge them. Passing today’s firefly moments in favor of future fireworks is but an illusion.
Tomorrow’s not here. Today is. Grab it, and put it in a Mason jar.