Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I tried to count the trees as they rushed by.

AZ skies...

I tried to count the trees as they rushed by, blurs of green and brown and impending winter, branches a little more bare than they were just yesterday. I held Hank's hand tight, breathing in the cold air that rushed in through the cracked window, that rushed in and all around us. Henry in the back seat, bright eyed and smiling, sounds of trucks and pages turning, the sound of laughter and snacks in a cup, the sound of being a toddler. It was almost dark then, as we drove home from dinner.

On that drive I thought about this past weekend, sitting on the couch with my Grandmother next to me, her hands knitting, her skin so thin it looked like paper, fingers moving moving moving as she pieced together those colors. I thought about my father, sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper like he always does, cup of coffee, piece of toast, my mother sitting with her legs curled up, glasses on, book in hand.

It's all so simple and it's all that I know. It's what I grew up with, my everyday, my whole world in that house. And all of that is hard for me sometimes. The everyday things. The simple things. When I have too much time to think too much about how fragile it all is, how it won't always be like this, how one day we'll be driving in the car and there won't be toddler sounds, Henry grown up and on his own. Or how one day I'll be on the couch and my grandmother won't be there. Or my Dad won't be in his chair. Or my Mom won't be curled up in hers. No cup of coffee, piece of toast, glasses, book.

All my life I've had an acute awareness of the here and now. Of the fact that every single thing I have and love and cherish won't always be here. In a way I feel like this has pushed me to be sad at times, sadder than some people. But now as I get older it makes me feel much less sad, and more alive, if that makes sense. This is all I have. This. Here, now. And now I can see that this is such a gift- such a gift of being aware of this simple beauty so that I can cherish it all. So I can remember to take a step back and capture it, file it away. Simple days. Everyday things. The sound of Henry waking up, the way the sun comes in through the back window in the morning. The pitter patter of tiny feet on our kitchen tile, the squeals and laughter that fills every corner of our home during our waking hours. My father's voicemails, my mother's texts. Our son, my grandmother. Hands and legs and cups of coffee. The car, the couch, the newspaper, the chair.

Stopping, and breathing, and taking it in.

24 comments:

  1. wow. this is so beautiful.
    opportunities like those are just amazing, to realize the simplicity and happiness life provides.
    thank you for sharing!
    Heather

    thenyouwereperfect.blogspot.com

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  2. Absolutely beautiful. I often feel how you described here. Life is so fragile. It feels nice when we do stop to take it all in.

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  3. This is just so beautiful, Danielle. I was talking about a portion of this yesterday with a friend and it resonates with me even more now as I play with my daughter in her swing. She's laughing with her whole body and I hope I never forget the way she laughs with her arms & legs and turns her head to side as if saying, "Oh stop, Mom!" Also as I watched my husband put the star on our Christmas tree with our 4 year old daughter, I realized that my little girl who came to us barely as a toddler is now 4 1/2 years old and growing into the most amazing little girl. I swear, if you tell her to stop laughing, she just giggles more. Anyways, this is just so great. Don't mind me as I blab in your comments. :) I just felt like you REALLY needed to know about my girls. lol.

    Bridgette

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  4. This is one of my favorite blog posts I've read in a while. Lovely.

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  5. So beautifully written. I know exactly what you mean, but I would never be able to describe it so perfectly as I look around at my family, what I know and what I love and what won't always be there.

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  6. The last two paragraphs really capture that bittersweet feeling of time passing and the different seasons within it.

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  7. Such a lovely written post. Sad and elating at the same time. You definitely got to the heart of it!

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  8. This is so beautiful, Dani. I feel this way too--sometimes it's a great cause for anxiety. I do sometimes tell myself that my perspective might change to a more positive one when I have children, so you are giving me hope today!

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  9. This is such a great post, Danielle. Unfortunately, I have the opposite mentality: "Everything I love will always be there and I don't have to worry about it." Then, when it's gone, it completely destroys me because I never thought about what life would be like without that person or thing that I loved.

    I tend to take the people I love for granted at times, so that has been my struggle: Living in the here and now and letting everyone I love know how much they mean to me as often as possible. Thank you for your lovely words :)

    http://viennawaitsblog.blogspot.com/

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  10. Beautiful.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    much love to you and your family,
    colie

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  11. What a beautiful and extremely touching post Dani! I cried and cried like a little girl, by the end of the post my face was covered in tears.
    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and your love for life!

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  12. Wonderful essay. I have (also) always been aware of the fragility of everyday joys, so I relate.

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  13. And there you have it. Just lovely. Girlfriend can write!

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  14. A beautiful post. I also recognize the sadness of life, but in turn I see more joy.

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  15. Thank you for sharing this! I feel like I've always felt this way as well, always so sentimental about the little things. And this year, getting married and moving out almost makes me feel like I'm pushing it away, but it's so much the opposite. It's a reminder to not be sad but embrace every bit of everything that we can. :)
    Thank you.
    XO

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  16. i can totally relate. i'm always trying to grasp the moment and hold on to it forever.

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  17. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post, so eloquent and thoughtful. I constantly waver between this feeling and the opposite, it's a confronting issue to deal with.
    xo

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  18. I've always felt this way. This awareness of the now. Always had the ability to appreciate the current state of things. I think it's because I lost my father young. Thanks for this post. For putting it into words for me :)

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  19. Such a lovely post. I can really relate, sometimes I let the fear of how fragile life really is take over, but this post reminded me that it is nothing to be sad or anxious about. It is just life and life is amazing. Thanks for sharing and reminding us all to live in the now. :)

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  20. I love your blog miss. So sweet and so grateful you truly are! :)

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  21. Crying. Ummm, thanks? :p
    But seriously, this is what I need to remember more often.

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  22. Damn, girl. Hit the nail on the head.
    It is the impermanence of life that makes it beautiful. I'm the same, feeling it a little too keenly sometimes. But it's good to realize that this is all we get, so savor every moment. Love as much as possible. And don't ever leave without saying goodbye.

    Liz
    Gypsy Alchemy

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  23. Danielle. I often wake up in the morning and wonder what it would be like to go to work - to home - and back to work each day without taking a single glance toward the sky. How wonderful it is for you to live a life so fully aware, thank you for sharing this. It is so articulate, full of flavor and feeling and impressive. You are truly a great writer.

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  24. Beautiful. That is all I can really say.

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