As I get older (Way older, you just try being 100 and then tell me what you think about it!), the moments become more precious. Here’s one of my old columns that says it well . . .
Sometimes the days, hours or moments we ‘waste’ turn out to be the ones we remember for the rest of our lives. We think of all the chores we could be doing and feel it’s ‘wrong’ to occasionally do nothing but look, relax and experience the joy of life itself.
I remember just such a day. Two small boys were going wild with the joy of the first really warm day of summer and were constantly calling me to, “Oh, Mommy, come and see”. And smart enough to know that they wouldn’t always want me to ‘Come and See”, I put aside my dust cloth, broom and cookpot and together the three of us roamed the fields and pasture. Fields now fenced off and the cow-pasture that became the Mick Riley Golf Course.
I can re-live that day right now. They showed me certain ‘special’ rocks they found, we peered into bird nests, watched bees drone in the sun, found tiny hidden flowers and ate our lunch on the warm slope of the hill.
Ah, the chores I left unfinished that day are long ago forgotten and whatever I fixed for that night’s dinner matters not, but how the three of us spent that day has become one of my most precious memories. A ‘wasted’ day? Don’t tell that to any parent who has taken the time to walk, listen and watch while their children still want them ‘to come and see what I’m doing’.
I remember another ‘wasted’ summer day long before that, when my own mother scolded me because she had looked for me and worried when I couldn’t be found. I was far too young and unknowing to even try to explain, but just the same, I can still see where and how I spent that time. And no matter how many office buildings have been built in that spot, I still have my memory.
Yes, I can still see the Cherry tree at the head of two rows of Currant Bushes. The grass grew high (Well, it was high for a four or five year old) between the bushes, and I played the hours away in their seclusion. The Cherry tree had a pungent odor I would still know, and my cheeks pucker even as I write these words and recall the sweet-tart taste of the ripe currants I stuffed into my mouth.
But how could a child tell her upset mother she was just taking her first real look at God’s world and finding it good? The truth is, the child didn’t know what she was doing. Just aware that the day had been satisfying beyond anything she had before known.
I also remember when, as a young bride, I ‘wasted’ a few minutes, made extra work for myself, but found unforgettable beauty.
I had hurried out to bring in the my laundry from the clothes line, as a rain storm was near. With the frantically gathered linen in my arms I turned to hurry back into the house, when I noticed black billows of clouds tumbling and pouring down the ravines of Mt. Olympus, looking like big billows of black whipped cream being poured from some height, and I stopped in my tracks, dead still, and watched.
The wind whipped my hair and clothes and big rain drops came and wet me and the sheets and towels in my arms, but the violent beauty of the eastern mountain became etched on my mind. The work of once more drying the linen is forgotten, but the storm’s beauty is still mine. ‘Wasted’ time? You know better.
Oh, it’s easy to scold the young lad who has stopped in the middle of lawn cutting to stand and dream, with the warm sun on his back, and the cool lawn at his feet. But who knows? He just might be seeing the world in a new way, and that moment of seeming idleness, a moment he’ll treasure years from now when his whole world has changed, and he’d like nothing more than just to be that boy again with nothing to do but mow the lawn. And have dreams.
‘Wasted’ moments???? Ah, these aren’t the wasted ones. I’ve forgotten forever the many tasks of cleaning rooms and preparing thousands of meals, but the ‘wasted’ hours I spent amid Mama’s bushes and the day with two little boys at play in the pasture that is now also gone forever, will be with me to the end of my days.