Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Voice of the Bullet Train

Our daughter gave us a gift, a little sign with a sweet saying on it..."We do not remember the days, we remember the moments (Pavese). I was looking at it this morning while making breakfast and I realized that the only way to have moments is to be present. But if you are like me...or most people, present moments are more like the whirling scenery from a bullet train. Precious moments speed by us and we hardly know what we have seen. Like spinning around in a circle those precious moments become blurs. Holidays are the worse kind of bullet trains.

Some of my best moments have been when the kids were little. Baking cookies, making ornaments, turning out all the lights before bedtime and looking at the Christmas tree. Children have a way of slowing us down. They remind us that we cannot move quickly through moments. They are still learning and small and thus, are one of our greatest teachers for capturing moment. I remember my kids having fun just looking for four leaf clovers. I don't remember the last time I stopped to do that. Older people cause us to slow down. I remember taking walks with my grandmother and we would never walk quickly. She would stop every once in a while and look at a pine tree or a flower. Older people cannot move quickly either. Years cause bone and sinew to demand our deliberate action. At this point in my life I would prefer to believe it is wisdom that slows us down and not physical limitations.

It seems the bookends of our life teach us more about living than the middle. One one end of the bookend we have the wonderment of firsts; the other end of the bookend offers us the treasure chest of wisdom. It occurred to me this morning, looking at the sign, I still have some middle left. I think I will take the advice of my younger self that has seen the new and my older self that hopefully awaits my arrival, and take their sound advice. Bullet trains are nice, but they take you to the end a lot faster!

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