Yesterday evening I ran three miles through my neighborhood park, coming to the top of our one and only small hill just as the sun was setting over the lake. Okay, it's more of a pond but we call it a lake. It was a beautiful view, the water still and pink, contrasted against the darkening backdrop of my admittedly suburban neighborhood, street lamps and lighted windows beginning to shine in the deepening dusk. As I descended, I spotted a crane wandering into the water and as I passed it took wing, flirting with its reflection in the rosy water for a few moments before taking fully to the sky. I was entranced by the present moment, taking a mental picture. Still Life with Crane. Or something like that. I breathed deeply and praised God. I wanted to remember that moment forever.
I want to remember this summer forever. Time passes so quickly and the moments you think will always stay with you sometimes fade. I look back on my life with Eddie and can pick out a few dozen memories, a few snapshots frozen in time. The rest, the vast majority of those two years, are a kaleidoscope of feelings and impressions, a mash-up of memory, a collage rather than a still, strong image. That's okay; that's the nature of life. But sometimes I just want to take a moment and save it forever.
This is the summer that Baby Boy learned to ride his bike without training wheels, took off and never looked back. It's a summer of four-square and popsicles, of running outside to catch the ice cream truck and running through the sprinklers in the back yard. When Baby Girl learned to write "Mommy" and left me precious little notes all over the house, the rest indecipherable swirls and arches but that one word standing out strong and clear, reminding me of who, by the grace of God, I am and what it means to my children. Of strong, tanned arms and legs and strawberries on knees. Of all five of our living children under one roof, the sixth one felt even if not seen. Of big sisters making little ones shriek with laughter. Of popcorn and Disney movies, Golden Books and Legos. When the Chipmunk joined this jolly crew and we learned that joy goes up to eleven. All of that, so much more, and it is only the third of July.
Nothing spectacular by the world's standards has happened this summer. No one has won the lottery or appeared on television. No trophies or awards. Just a whole lot of happy little moments, already swirling and blending into the greater pool of memory. But this morning, as I retrieve my little cat-napper from his swing and earn a full throttle Chipmunk smile for my efforts, I just want to celebrate the moments, this present moment, and look forward to the next one to come.