Saturday, October 22, 2011


“One generation passes, and another generation comes, but the earth abides forever. The sun also rises.” (The Book of Ecclesiastes)

Part of me has always found a kind of solace in that Biblical passage. When I feel an early morning chill nipping at my cheekbones, or see moving nighttime clouds appearing shiny white against the black sky because of the light they reflect from a full moon, I cherish the moments and smile with the knowledge that they are timeless and eternal.

I know those little joys will always come round again, no matter what troubles I have to deal with in life. I know they existed for humanity’s enjoyment before I arrived on Earth, and I know they will continue to exist after I depart, and that knowledge gives me peace. It assures me that I am part of something much bigger than me, and that realization is comforting even though I can not pinpoint what that “something” is, even though my human brain is incapable of understanding the complexity of the divine.

However, being human, I also find that there is something troubling about the inexorability of time which is imbedded in that verse.

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was sitting with Sarah in the nursery at University Community Hospital, less than an hour after she emerged from Erika’s womb, telling her about all the fun things we would do as a family now that she had joined us. And already she is seven.

I can not believe that Parker is already turning four months old today. As I listen to him coo, and watch him observe ordinary household items with the kind of amazement only a newborn can possess, I am saddened by the realization that at our age we will probably never again have a baby to watch go through these stages. I am struck by the thought that “this is the last time.”

This month I climbed the tallest mountain (not the same as “highest”) in Eastern America -- an accomplishment I will blog about soon, and one that showed me I can still do the kind of things I was capable of when I was in my twenties. That hike was something I am still smiling about eight days after coming down from the mountain. Yet I know I am forty, and I know that means I have lived more than half my life expectancy, and I find myself thinking I better start living according to Satchel Paige’s advice: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

These mental meanderings and circular and will probably never resolve, so there is no reason for me to have written them this morning other than they were going through my brain. The good news is, positivity always defeats negativity and I refuse to be negative. And the comforting thoughts I remarked about outweigh, by far, the ones that seemed plaintive.

Life is precious. Let’s all resolve to enjoy it.

I hear Parker making noise, so I am off to get him up…

1 comment:

Barb said...

Hi John, Sometimes endings are necessary so that there can be new beginnings - that's what I tend to think. I'll be interested to read about your mountain climbing. At 40, I hope there are many more summits in your future. I hope Sarah likes school this year. Enjoy the time with baby Parker. (PS I tried but couldn't comment on your post on the open space - loved those photos!)