Swinging on Christmas Day at the park near our house where Grace and Whit basically grew up. Something about this picture speaks to me of what passes, and of what abides. And of trying to capture a child – a life – in motion, which is what I try to do here, and which I realize is fundamentally impossible.
I’ve been thinking lately about what passes, and, conversely, but also, about what endures. I’ve written before about the notion of this too shall pass, and about how often that is true.
Also, this fall I heard Tennyson’s lines in my head often: though much is taken, much abides.
Much passes. Almost everything. In the last week, my ankle hurt strangely and to the point of limping for a couple of days. My computer and phone were on fritz for a day. Those things passed. Grace and Whit and I lock horns and argue. That passes.
Some things abide and endure. No matter what happens – and the days of Grace and Whit at home are certainly something that pass – I will always be a mother to those two rapidly-growing, infuriating, extraordinary people I call my daughter and my son. I will always have red hair, freckled skin (note my new scar, which is a downside of this coloring). I will always be sensitive, and prefer quiet, and need to sleep (and the insomnia that’s plagued me lately is not helping). I will always be K and S’s daughter and H’s sister. These things are eternal.
I’m comforted by what endures even as I feel anxiety about what passes. Anxiety and ease in equal measure, I guess, when I’m honest: the things that are hard will pass, and that’s reassuring. But some things I dearly love pass, too, and that’s sorrowful.
I don’t know that I have a neat conclusion, rather an observation that has been on my mind. Some things stay. Most things go. Which is which is sometimes random. These truths are both contradictory and a source of solace, at least for me. That I can hold both of those things in my hand is perhaps a sign of maturity, I realize, as I write this.
So. Let me breathe in what is, recognizing that some of that will pass, and some will stay, and that is as it should be.
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