Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Ghost {A Bigger Picture Moment}

Just the other day -- a dozen summers ago, maybe -- I was riding in a BMW with my girlfriends.  We were seventeen and lovely, and the car belonged to one of our mothers.  It was low, sleek, black.  Mysterious.  We had the music up as loud as it could go, and we were dancing with our arms in the rushing-past air.  The wind loved us.  The world loved us; we were utterly convinced of this certainty.

We slid up to an intersection where, beside us, a clunky minivan waited for a green light.   Noise and laughter and spontaneity feathered from our open windows to tickle the undercarriage of the other vehicle.  Its driver turned in our direction -- a young mother.  Her hair was pulled back in a scrunchy, her eyes were tired, and her windows were shut tight.  She looked at us in our borrowed car, scanning our bright, shining eyes and our care-free singing. 

At the time, I fancied jealousy on her face.  In the squaring of her shoulders.  In the resoluteness of her turned head.  I fancied us to be envied. 

I mean, can you imagine?!  A ritzy car full of beautiful young girls, compared to a heavy minivan carrying only a housewife and her sticky brood? 

The light switched from red to green, and we raced away from the boredom of standing still.  On our way to who knows where. 

On our way to college. 

Parties

Jobs

Majors

Friends

Boyfriends

Interviews

Worries

Husbands

Mortgages

Children
.
..
...
....
.....
Minivans


And as I'm stopped at a red light with my sticky brood, I look out my window, and I see the ghost of a BMW full of over-made-up girls.  Little kids wishing for maturity in a car they didn't work towards or pay for.  Tube tops and hoop earrings and pop music tickle my undercarriage, but I swat it away.

That was some fun we had. 

But it isn't jealousy in my tired eyes and the squaring of my shoulders.  It's sense and comfort and love. 

I love those girls.  All of them. 

The ones falling out of their halter-tops and the ones with eyeliner too black around innocent eyes.  I love the girls who think a boring mom is something to be sped away from at the blink of a green light.  I love them and their glistening arms, waving to the beat of the garish song on the radio. 

I love them. 

was them. 

Now, I pull away from intersections slowly.  Careful of my cargo. 

Happy with my 'plight.'

I think we'll turn on some teeny-bopping music and have a dance party tonight.  Later, I'll be smothered with preschooler-kisses and first-grader stories.  I'll rock my baby to sleep and breathe in his baby-scented cheeks.  Then, I'll huddle under my husband's outstretched arm, and we'll talk for hours. 





Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the Bigger Picture through a simple moment. Join the Bigger Picture Community at Hyacynth's place today! Reflect upon something simple — or simply magical — that’s resonated with you this week, then share it with us!

22 comments:

  1. Heavenly story, just perfect turn of time. This is life.

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    1. The earth goes 'round the sun, the moon goes 'round the earth -- and teenagers turn into minivanners :)

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  2. My how time changes us. I love the parallel here, and I've had many such moments where I see someone younger and remember: That was me once too. It's a funny feeling. Our culture tends to idolize youth and make it look like those times are the fun times. But we know better. What comes later is better, means so much more, and touches so much more deeply.

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    1. Now we know why the old ones are the wise ones, right? I think we'll look back in another 30 years and see just how much more growing we had ahead of us, all the time thinking we were already in life's most perfect moments.

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  3. Sarah, I feel your words to the very core of my heart. I've been in both cars, thought the same thoughts from each seat. And I love them too. I was one of them, too, and I am now the mother careful with my cargo. I'm so glad God gave you girls-- girls you can love on in our own home as they grow and teach them that they is more joy in your squared shoulders

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    1. I'm kind of terrified that God gave me girls, but I'm sure there was a reason! We'll just see how this thing plays out. You remind me to make SURE my joy is evident in my mothering.

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  4. Such a great piece! So well written! I love that the "look back" was NOT full of nostalgia or regret - but was a memory that you're glad to have in the midst of a life you're glad to be living. I've been full of nostalgia these past few weeks - I guess just letting life changes settle to the deepest points of my heart - and this was an important 'pick me up' and reminder that the past is never meant to steal joy from the present. EVER! Thanks so much for this!

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    1. 'the past is never meant to steal joy from the present.' I love this! Thanks, Adrienne!

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  5. wow, what a time-capturing, heart-clutching post. You wrote it perfectly, and had me sitting right there in both cars. What a beautiful tribute to growing up and motherhood, but also a grace given to our younger years. Beautiful, so beautiful.

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    1. As for me, I know my younger years NEEDED that grace!! Isn't it consoling to know there were probably women watching us at that age, fulfilling our unknown need for something unconditional? Thanks, Robin!

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  6. This is so close to how I feel some times. Beautifully written.

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    1. Thank you, Jill -- I'm glad to know there's something universal about the feeling. I wonder if we show it or communicate it well to younger generations?

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    1. I'm just happy to know my heart-words were felt by others, too :) Thank YOU!

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  8. BEAUTIFUL! I had a similar experience the other day when I stopped next to a roudy car of highschoolers. It brought me back, but made me feel appreciative of what I have today. :)

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  9. Isn't it interesting how clear things become with the fullness of time? You touched my heart. I wouldn't trade my mini-van memories for all the luxury cars in the world!

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    1. The fullness of time really IS full! Memories, lessons, grace -- very nicely packed :)

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  10. Oh Sarah, you're so beautiful.

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    1. Said the pot to what she *thought* was a kettle...but was really only a masquerading gravy boat. ;)

      Thanks, Em :)

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?