It goes so fast…

daylilie

It goes so fast. We all know it. We feel it. We say it. Perhaps acknowledging it eases the pain of that fact ever so slightly. “It” can be anything…summer, vacation, childhood, life. So we feel the urge to do it right. But we’re human. And life is hard.

Many Junes ago, a flash of orange caught my eye as I drove toward the first house I shared with my husband. Our rental was at the foot of a mountain and the sloped section of land between the houses and the road was covered in Daylilies. I fell instantly in love with the cheerful burst of color. I learned that each bloom only lasts one day and that the whole, beautiful, orange scene would be over by early July. It goes so fast.

From that June on, I vowed never to miss it. I waited for them to bloom. I savored the orange against green grass and blue sky. They became the backdrop of my favorite time of year. The longest days, the whole summer stretched before me, the warmth, the light, the magic.

Savoring summer

A couple  years later, we moved away from that Daylily covered stretch of road and bought our first  house. My husband spent the first few springs transplanting wild Daylilies from various locations in the area to our new yard. (I know! The man gets it right in some seriously perfect ways sometimes.) So, every June, they came. And I loved them.

Maybe it was the way they coincided with the peak of the glittering fireflies in our new yard. Maybe it was the urgency of their impending disappearance. Perhaps it was the way they put on their biggest show as the summer solstice tipped the earth from summer toward fall.

Whatever it was, I loved them. We took pictures of ourselves with our dogs in front of them. We took pictures of me with bellies full of children in front of them. We took pictures of our babies in front of them.

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As soon as those babies were old enough to stand at an easel, I gave them a chance to savor the Daylilies too. And every year, I loved the paintings. Every year, I loved the pictures of my babies painting. Every year, I made them stand in the sea of orange and willed them to see, to feel, to know.

DSC07339Savoring summer

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It goes so fast.

Time went on. I missed years here and there. I glanced out the window. I saw them. I knew they would be gone soon. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t have the strength. I was so tired. I was so anxious. It was going so fast. And a lot of it was really hard. I still loved them, but life sometimes made me forget.

Take it outside

They still came every year in a burst of orange. They willed me to remember, because they would be gone by early July. So this year, I took my babies outside. My two boys stood taller than the easel. My little girl just barely small enough.

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And all at once it came to me. Childhood is a Daylily. It is bursting with beauty and wonder and love. The color in my life. The sunshine. This time, full of insanity and sleeplessness and worry, and selflessness, and joy, and laughter, and coziness, and wonder…it goes so fast. And at the end of the day, the bloom closes, the color fades, the mama cries.

Sometimes I don’t have the time. Sometimes I don’t have the strength. I’m tired and anxious. I’m fighting battles my children will never even know I fought. Life is really hard. And it’s going so fast. I want to do it right, but I am human and there’s so much to do.

Still, it all can be done. As long as I remember what “all” really entails. All I need to do is listen. All I need to do is be. All I need to do is love.

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All I need to do is tell them we’re going to paint the Daylilies. That’s what I did today. They came outside.  They took their time. They got along. They were quiet and focused. They saw it. They felt it. It goes so fast. But they don’t know that yet. I know it for them. All these beautiful moments, they go so fast.

And all the not so beautiful moments…when I am too busy, when my anxiety and heartache cloud my view of them, when circumstances beyond my control steal our joy, when I lose my temper, when I meet them with contempt instead of love…those are fleeting too. I hope they don’t remember those times too well.

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I hope they remember June. I hope they feel the heat of the sun and remember the warmth of my love. I hope they see the fireflies and know that I wanted things to be bright for them no matter how dark I felt. I hope they feel the brilliance of the tipping point between summer and fall and know that they were my longest days of light.

I hope they will remember standing at the easel, painting the flowers their Daddy planted for their mom before they were born. I hope they savor their own precious moments. I hope a few of those moments include their mama, who messes up a lot, but who loves to watch them shine in new ways every day.

I vow not to miss it. I will wait for them to bloom each day. I will savor the way the sun lights their faces. I will sit with them in the green grass and watch them grow ever taller against the blue sky.  Because they are a burst of color. They are summer stretched out before me. They are in the forefront of all I do. They are warmth and light and magic. I hope they know, in a lifetime of seasons, they will always be my June.

 

I wrote this post in my head while listening to this song in the car. Nahko is my meditation. What’s yours?

Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLru6Fpwu28

It all can be done, it all can be done
It all can be done, it all can be done
Whatever your method or theory of one
Whatever your method or theory of one
I can’t believe it, what’s happening’ to me
I’m gonna own it, this right of passage so attached to it
I’m gonna heal it, cuz I’ve never been abandoned, just left alone
And that is the hardest thing to ignore
Most things take their toll, most things take their toll
Whatever your perception, whatever your role
Whatever your perception, whatever your role
Most things make your soul, most things make your soul
Take it or leave it, it happened that way
Whether you need it or not a part of it is with you wherever you go
And I know you feel cuz it makes up your soul, oooh
And that is the hardest thing to ignore
Make the colors make me blind
For all things equal all things shine
Make the colors make me blind
For all things equal all things shine
Kind of a mess how I’ve handled it all but
Better the lessons when the harder you fall
Working backwards since the day I was born
And that is the hardest thing to ignore
Go now live your truth, be of solids and eat of it’s fruits
Go now live your truth, lucky for us there’s no one right way to live
And leave it to us to think we are in charge
Working backwards since the day we were born
And that is the hardest thing to ignore
 

Nahko and Medicine for the People

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