5:30. I opened my eyes before the predetermined time. I lay there, with that tired feeling you get when you wake up earlier than normal, looked around at my surrounding, repositioned myself and breathed deeply. As much as I wanted to close my heavy lids I knew it would be better if I stayed up. I worked on shaking off the desire to sleep, telling myself I needed to leave in a bit to go home and I needed to be up anyway.
After my shower I packed up, sat with my oldest daughter, her fiancé, the middle daughter, (who came along with me for the visit), drinking tea at that kitchen table. The table I gave her. What a nice morning, sitting and talking, like old times when we all lived together.
Two daughters in college, they had certainly matured and grown. Seeing how well they respected and loved each other, made me feel so proud of who they were now as friends. I knew they felt the difference in how their relationship matured, because I sure did. The car was packed willy-nilly, we said our goodbyes and the middle and I headed home.
I loved the open expansive spaces of nature when you drive in country areas, it makes me feel a purpose and so alive. The smell of grasses, how the sun hits, the array of plants, but best of all I feel I belong. The majestic way the wind causes tress to sway, flowers and grasses to bend, causes light to shimmer as it refracts against the natural surfaces, well, it’s magically mesmerizing.
I did the driving, so I didn’t do my customary, placing my forehead on the side window to study the landscape. I however did notice the early signs fall were heading in. Where green once was, yellows and some burnt umber were emerging every so often as an undertone. Then we’d pass and see an entire branch that was completely changed. For the majority of the greenery, I sensed a feeling of tiredness, the leaves had reached their peak, hung like an old slowing down man and were ready for fall.
Deep in though, philosophically evaluating what fall meant to me and in general, it occurred to me how short our seasons really were when one measure time. For trees the season cycle is much like a day for us, or so I conclude. This observation made me realize how short of a time we really are privileged to be alive.
As I have gotten older I don’t see season so cut and dry as they are defined; fall, winter, spring and summer. Season overlap so to speak, and I have become very observant looking for and at these changes. As insignificant as they might be, it is one of our gauges of time, so too are birthdays. Having my children and being able to watch them grow and experience what I have with them, well I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Now I have a truer understanding of time, life and my expectations, I wish I could slow down and savor what is past. That cannot realistically happen, but what can happen is my appreciation for where I am, learning to focus on the experience, the moment, the feeling, and just loving life.