I do book work with Dave tonight. Compute numbers and scratch my pencil down a page of percentages that I only vaguely comprehend. This kind of work benumbs me. My fingers switch to automatic and my mind roams free. Out of the corner of my eye I see a drawer open. There are pictures spilling out of it. Ancient pictures that were not taken with digital cameras. Pictures we actually got developed.
My pencil suspends. Should I?
I cease my work and pick up a stack.
Oh my babies! The first picture is of Grant and I. My belly big as I stand sideways, and a little Grant puts his hand on the bulge of brother.
The next is a little Rowan in a snow cap grinning so big you can make out tonsils. I'm holding him on the porch. My pink lipstick is very pink and my eyes seem full of the wonder of three.
Ouch. My dad holding Grant. He's gone now and to my kids he's only the memory of hearty laughter.
Ouch. Great Grandma and Grandpa with a pretty little Avonlea between them. Grandpa's gone now also and Grandma comes to birthday celebrations with Ma and Pa.
Four little ballerinas in my living room. My first ballet class nine years ago. Two of those four are now in Jr. High. The other two, the two wearing diapers in the picture, will be in Jr. High next year. I take this one to Dave and show him these girls that we've watched grow up. He looks at me in wonder, was it really that long ago? Yes, it was.
Dave on the floor wrestling with a four year old boy.
Visits with Page.
Visits with my Capernwray girls.
Decades and death and devotion all tucked away in a random drawer. All laid out of sight while we pursue our busy lives and lively schedules, living in the vortex of now.
One of the last pictures is of Avonlea and Grant and I on the beach. They look like they were about to sprint forward and I grabbed them around the waist and pulled them back for a quick picture. They smiled, movement suspended, and I caught the moment before they bolted. I caught it.
I go back to my calculations sobered. I thank God for every moment that I have with these sprinting children, this wrestling husband, these cherished friends, this loving circle of family. I take no gathering lightly, for time is precious. So precious.
Time races off if we don't grab it firmly round the middle and hold on.
God give me the grace to catch this day, this hour, this minute.
To catch it and to let it go. To watch it sprint away, with gratitude, for the memory.