Wednesday, August 05, 2009
This "summer" is over half gone and the busyness of it has made time pass very quickly.
My childhood summers seemed to last forever...
When our children were school aged, I was able to take a leave of absence from work every summer. We spent many lazy days at the park, biking on city trails and playing in the yard. Time went a little faster.
Now I wonder if a visit from adult children is considered having "company"? They stay in our newly created guest room but this is still their home in many ways. One daughter just bought her first house in July, a big milestone in life. This week she is the nurse at a summer camp and is spending her days caring for children with scrapes, splinters, tummy aches and homesickness.
Her sister returned yesterday to her life in Mexico where she will be preparing to teach English at the university in a few weeks.
Time hurtles by and transitions happen quickly as if the slide show of my life is now being shown at warp speed. My children give me advice, sometimes unsolicited, and make big decisions on their own. The tables are turning.
A few years ago I met a very interesting man who had returned to university after his retirement in 1986. He completed his bachelor and masters degrees while caring for his wife who later died. He also volunteered at our hospital. This fall, at the age of 88, he will be receiving his doctorate in geography and environmental studies. I used to visit his home after his hip surgery and loved to hear him share his research about our local geological history and environment. I think about him often as I explore areas of our region and look at the hills and streams with his eyes. In a recent newspaper article he is quoted as saying,
"Doing nothing is like practicing for death."
His research involved a lot of physical exertion. Pain and fatigue were inevitable but he said,
"You take your time and when you get tired, you sit on a rock and listen to the birds."
Transitions are part of life, but we have a lot of control over how they affect our attitudes and subsequent actions.
Photo: Crows on Manitoulin Island