Whenever I’ve found myself in a tough spot, I almost always have the presence of mind to think, “This too shall pass.” Whether it’s a time of heartache, a period of loss, a season of disappointment, it always passes. Sometimes it might be giving blood, and another time it could be walking the floor with a colicky baby. Whether a brief moment of disappointment or years of pain, it always passes.
Monday I had somewhat of a wake-up call. Cruising along I-95 towards my daughter’s home near Savannah, I was listening to Eckhart Tolle read his book, A New Earth, on my iPod. I had tried to read the book a few months ago but found it hard to stay focused. Listening, however, was different, better. Anyway, he mentioned the above statement, and I thought, “Oh yes, wisdom of the ages.” But this is when he said something that I’d thought of many times before, just not in the context of this phrase. (He actually said, “This too will pass,” but I like using shall, so…….)
So this is what Tolle said that rocked my world, at least for a few moments. “This too will pass” relates to all the good stuff too–the happy, joyful, exhilarating, giddy moments of life. Yes, I already knew that, and yet there was just something about being reminded of it on the way to visit with my daughter and her family that resonated with me. Although I was only in their home a couple of days, that phrase came back to haunt me (in a manner of speaking) many times. Everything is so transient that it’s a little scary to think about.
Carrie is the mother of four very busy little people, the oldest of whom will turn 6 in a few weeks. The baby was born in February, and two beautiful little girls are in-between these two boys. Consequently, Carrie’s life is busy and zooey. Whether it’s laundry, food preparation, dish washing, floor mopping, or chauffeuring the children to school, dance, church, or baseball, she’s the girl in a whirl. Yesterday I volunteered to watch the baby and Emma, an impish 2-year old, so that Carrie and Brooke could go to Wal-Mart for some basic provisions. She was delighted to be able to go with just one child, especially since it was one that is usually pretty obedient.
I reminded her (that’s my job as a mother) that these crazy days and sleep deprived nights would pass, that one day she’d be able to shop all day to her heart’s content in any store she wanted to. Right now, however, some great stuff is going on. As we were chatting, Emma and Brooke were both holding their baby dolls, and Emma had just said, “Don’t cry, Baby. It’s okay, Baby,” in the most soothing voice you can imagine. Soon thereafter, I painted their toenails and fingernails, and Emma actually squealed with delight. All this time Carrie was nursing the baby, something that only she can do. She had her eye on the clock the whole time because soon it’d be time to stop everything, strap the children in the van, and pick up Braden from school.
I know I’m not doing justice to the concept, but hey, this isn’t meant to be an English essay that I’m getting graded on. I just want to get across the strong impression that I received Monday that NOW, right this very moment is where life takes place. Now, not yesterday or some hoped-for tomorrow. NOW.
The picture is of the three older children taken about a month ago. As you can see, their attire is a little “different,” but that was a day in the life of the Maseda family…already gone. I’ve always been pretty good at it, but since Monday I’ve been making more of an effort to consciously notice and appreciate the moments. Why? You know why…because this too will pass.