The last dance, the last meal, the last kiss with your beloved, you have no way of knowing when this will be. I was thinking of lasts recently, feeling both thankful and disheartened, that these moments can pass away when I am unaware. The older I get, the more I realize, the gift of every God given moment. I remember the last day of high school, because matriculations are celebrated, and we are forewarned that we will never pass this way again. “Life, so they say, is but a game and we let it slip away.” (Seals and Crofts 1973) I remember the last time I looked into my dad’s eyes because I was paying attention, but I don’t remember the last time I danced with my dad, or laughed until we cried? I remember the last family vacation we took with all the kids, but not the last time I snuggled with them, tucked them into bed, or read them a story. I remember the last hike with my dear friend Chris because we knew she was moving. We’d been hiking together for almost twenty years, but now looking back, I realize how important those hikes were to my well-being, my ability to cope with life’s many challenges, and the pleasure of true companionship. For some reason I don’t remember the last time my dog Sam greeted me at the door, or the last time I put on a water ski (maybe I’ll do that again), but I remember with clarity the last time all four kids had the flu. Larry was traveling…how convenient. I considered checking us all into the hospital, but instead I gave everyone a beach towel, and a large bowl. That was such an unpleasant memory, I don’t know why I mentioned it, except for the fact it changed me. I learned that sometimes you have to ask for help. We can’t go it alone, we are definitely communal beings, and it's those mundane interactions I now find invaluable. It is shocking how quickly things can change, like relationships, jobs, and our imagined security. I have a wonderful group of friends who celebrate life with me, we travel together, and we all enjoy lingering over a sumptuous meal. From now on I’m going to pay attention to those sacred moments.
I'm going to savor my morning coffee in bed, the smell of my sweet granddaughter, and early morning hikes with my husband. I'm going to enjoy living in the gap this summer because, “We may never pass this way again, that's why I want it with you.” Seals and Crofts
What are you paying attention to this summer? Add it in the comments!