April 14, 2002
Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! On a stormy, nasty day last week, I went out and bought a cushion for my lawn swing. A couple days ago, on the first beautiful day of the year, I sat in my swing and enjoyed my new cushion. I didnít have much time, but I did have ten minutes or so that I could claim as mine. So I did. I sat outside in my swing and savored.
The dream of sitting outside in my swing and savoring the summer is what has kept me going through all the stress and uncertainty this year has already thrown at me. It kept me going through the craziness of last year, too. Only I never sat in my swing last summer. Not once. I guess I was just too busy. My summer memories are a blur of endless hours of mandatory overtime and twelve-hour shiftsónot really how I would have chosen to remember the summer! Suddenly, about the time the days started getting chilly, I realized I still hadnít sat in my swing even once. Even though I took a wonderful vacation, when I think of last summer, I think of day after day of nothing but work and sleep, with days off spent frantically trying to catch up on yard work and everything else.
Contrast that to the summer before last. I didnít do anything special, but I puttered around my yard and sat in my swing for at least a few minutes, savoring, almost every day. When I think of that summer, I remember it as one of the best summers Iíve ever known. And that is when I finally started learning the lesson that I seem to have forgotten sinceóhow to savor.
I usually have a few spare minutes before I have to leave for work. That usually means, time to start dreading the shift. What I suddenly realized that summer was, those minutes belong to me. It was entirely my choice what I did with that time. SoÖ I started sitting in my swing, maybe reading, but mostly just thinking or dreaming while I listened to the birds singing and the neighborhood kids playing. Just savoring. Savoring the soothing motion of the swing, the sunshine, the breeze, the happy sounds, the peacefulness. Savoring life.
We all have responsibilities as adults; thatís just a fact of life. But sometimes those responsibilities just become too overwhelming, and we lose sight of everything except existing from day to day, just trying to survive that dayís duties. When we do think of something weíd like to do, we maybe make a mental promise to ourselves to find time for it "later." Only later never comes, because nothing changes. Work still takes up most of our days, and family responsibilities and endless things that need to be done around the house take up our "free" time. Suddenly we realize that weeks or even months have passed, and when we look back, we canít think of one pleasant thing that happened. Then we resolve all over again to find time for ourselves.
Guess what? Weíre never going to find the time! Itís taken me almost half a lifetime to learn that lesson. If we want to really live, we have to make the time. Time is merciless. It marches on relentlessly, and once a moment is past, itís lost forever. And moments add up to days, and weeks, and years. And a lifetime. I donít want to lose a lifetime. Or a moment.
When I was maybe thirteen years old, for some reason I decided to jot a "highlight" for each day on my calendar. At the end of each day, I would think back and decide what had been the best part of the day. I have no idea what happened to the calendar, but I still remember some of the "highlights." Sometimes the highlight was riding bike till sunset. Sometimes it was playing with the current batch of kittens. Sometimes it was throwing a Frisbee with my siblings. My journal during that time is full of the usual teenage angst, but I donít remember that part of my teen years till I happen to reread my old journals. But I remember those highlights.
I canít go back to being
a kid (nor would I want to!) and I will probably never have that much free
time again, but I can choose how to spend the time I do have. I can snatch
a few minutes here and there to read a good book. I can scribble on a story
just for fun. And I can sit in my swing.