I watch my boys trek outside every morning to “check the ice” in our fake pond–a big hole we dug out years ago to mark the spot for our eventual pond.
It is a ritual that they have had since the first snowfall. Of course, now, it’s mud with chunks of ice. But still, each morning one of them asks the other: “Want to check the ice?”
Today, I watched them walk slowly out to the pasture. I wondered what they were chatting about. What Jake said that was so funny. What made Joe lean his head back and laugh. I watched them race forward, excited to get out there and see what had changed.
Playing in the mud.
Laughing with a friend.
Enjoying nature’s gifts.
Not thinking it will end.
At what point do we realize that all things pass on to a new stage, a new chapter? Do we wake up one day and remember how things have changed so much?
Or, is it gradual and bittersweet?
Is it remembering little things sparked by the mundane tasks of the day?
Washing the dishes and seeing days of trampoline bounces and tree climbing through the window.
Folding the laundry and remembering little socks and shirts long since donated, thrown away, or turned into rags.
Grocery shopping and memories of days making siren noises while pushing the fire engine grocery cart. Knowing that the little person truly believed he was driving through the aisles.
Some things in life are sudden and jarring, like the unexpected death of a loved one. But so many bittersweet changes are gradual and imperceptible.
Standing at the sink,
washing sheets and clothes.
A picture with a memory
of how swiftly our time goes.