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Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Place In Time

When I was a child, I read a novel that followed a family through several generations. At my age, I was still in the mindset that the world started when I was born and would cease to exist when I did. I was young...my parents were old. My grandparents were ancient. Something in this particular novel changed this view of life for me. I realized that my parents, and even my grandparents, were still young with so much life still to live. I think that, though I was but a child, that I gained insight from that book that others may not have.....I saw the big picture. It has always been this way for me with books. Whatever others read in a book, I always see more. I don't know if it is the author's purpose or my own mind stretching the story as thinly as possible so that I can make it my own. From this time on, I began to see my life as chapters in a book.
Everything that had happened so far was like a prologue....the rest of my life bound tightly in a new book waiting to be read. Like I do with all books, I rushed into the pages with the anticipation for what I would find there. I did not linger in the pages as I passed through each chapter. There was only that need to get to the next page..to find out what would happen...to see how all of the characters would come together. There have been chapters in my life when I felt that I would be there forever. Really, isn't that how it is with every chapter of our lives? When I was a college student, my entire identity was wrapped in books and dormrooms.....friends and dreams. Then, when I married, it was as if I would be a newlywed forever. I would forever be getting to know Jeff....forever be taking advice from everyone else who had been married longer. We were a young couple with the world stretched out before us. We were forever rushing forward, grabbing at everything that was rightfully ours in youth....new jobs...new homes...new identities, and then there were the babies. Suddenly, we were so deep into the novel that was our life that we didn't even remember when our separate plots became one. We just always were. Day to day we lived, enjoying life, while at the same time, flipping through the pages so fast that details were overlooked. Characters who were so prominent in the early chapters of our lives became forgotten for a time. Even our characters as we once knew them were gone, yet we were so caught up that we didn't even miss them. With our children came new identities. We were and would forever be new parents....having never even said goodbye to the newlyweds who, only yesterday, dreamed of this moment in time. Shouldn't there have been a time when we formally turned the page, noticed the new chapter number, and turned the page down in anticipation of settling in later to enjoy what was to come? No, there was still too much book left to read to think that we could ever miss the chapters that got us there.
I have only recently begun to pull away from my identity as a new mother....a mother with babies. Though my children will always feel like my babies, I have recently allowed myself to admit that they are not.....babies. Once the new mother looking for help from everyone else, I am now the one who knows...who has been there. Unlike the earlier chapters of my life, I am not rushing blindly into my new identity. It is not because I don't want to embrace it, but because I do. By rushing into it, I will, in turn, leave it. This is the moment in time in which everything has fallen into place. There comes a point while reading a really good novel that you realize you have lost yourself in it. You hesitate to read too fast because it is only in the reading of it that you get to be a part of it. Oh, you can always go back and reread chapters...remember them, but it is never the same as the first time the words came to life from the pages. At this point, you realize that the joy of the book is not in finishing it or even getting to the next chapter, but in becoming a part of it. Sometimes I find more joy in a book by putting it down and playing it out in my mind..making it real...causing the characters to live in that moment for a while longer.
This is that place in time. I know that all too soon, this chapter that I think will be our lives forever will be covered with the pages of our future. I am now living in what will one day become our past. I will never make these pages come to life again, though I will cherish the opportunities to reread them. It is in seeing my life this way that I have learned to enjoy it the most. The peace for me comes in looking both ways....to the past and the future. The present is but a small moment in time...we are to cherish it now, living in it instead of merely passing through it.

8 Comments:

Blogger Lauren S. said...

What a beautiful post! Thanks!

7:03 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

This is a beautiful post ... you are quite a writer. :-)

2:20 PM  
Blogger playingschool said...

Wow. That was beautiful. I will willingly slow down, if just for tonight, and savor this chapter. Thanks!!!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Very well said.

Enjoying each chapter is so important!

4:09 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a beautiful reminder to slow down and enjoy each chapter of the book! I love the imagery!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, and, P.S. I'm loving your blog! I mean, I loved it before, but it's getting even better! I'm inspired!

5:44 PM  
Blogger Marmee said...

I thought so highly of this post that I included it in my newest post. I hope you don't mind....

Here's to savoring each page of this book we are all in the middle of, the story of our lives!

8:14 PM  
Blogger Mama Teaching 3 said...

I so love you!

11:38 AM  

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