Thursday, September 6, 2012

That's Time {A Bigger Picture Moment}

Months ago when I said that I was finally at peace with the fact that my children will continue to grow up and away, I think I was prematurely philosophizing.  Or maybe just awash in the perfect glow of new baby.  Because if I've learned anything since the beginning of the school year, it's been a reminder that time flies.  No -- that's too mild a term.  Time, in all actuality, careens out of control.  It catches the tailwind on a beam of light, and raises its arms into the air, screaming through the downward spirals.

That's time: gone and wild and echoing.

So yes, I was premature. 

Lately I feel like I'm standing in a room full of falling feathers, and just as I'm beginning to enjoy the sweet float of a downy tuft, it hits the ground and is lost among the pile.  Or I think the feather will fall forever, and all I need to do is keep my eyes on it to be carried away with the peacefulness of the moment.  But still, the feather hits the pile.  And just as I find another one -- maybe one with purple iridescence along its ivory quill -- a sudden gush of feathers is dumped all at once right on top of my head, and even if I wanted to pick a few of them to notice, it would be impossible.  They're so overlapped and tangled, and there's probably the most precious little feather in the bunch that I'll miss...

That's time, too: deceptive and hidden and silent.

And the only thing I can do, because it certainly hasn't fallen to my jurisdiction to make the years pass by more slowly, is keep my hands open.  Flex fingers that are tired from sorting through laundry and sinks full of soapy water.  Stretch palms that are itching from the neediness of the day. 

I just want you to know that I'm trying to catch feathers over here, and that it's possible and worthwhile and even exhilarating, if you hold your breath and close your eyes and jump right into the moment.  Lunge at the tiny, hidden feather that you know is about to fall beyond your vision, and open your hand...


It was raining like the sky wished to become one with the earth.  Like it wanted to erase spacial boundaries and live together forever as mud. 

Mia and I yelled to each other over the deafening pound of downpour-on-windshield.  The drive to school was suddenly exciting, each puddle begging to be plowed through and emptied with a splash.  Great weather for sitting by a window with a cup of hot tea.  Terrible weather for walking a first-grader into school. 

Unless you're a first-grader, I guess, in which case the rain is everything you've ever dreamed of.  The wind is like a rave.  The mad dash is like a freefall.

"Mama, will you park really far away from the door today?" 

I peered at her face in the rearview mirror, noting the lift of her eyebrows.  The tilt of her lips.  The pause of her breath.  She's serious.  She WANTS to be caught in a rainstorm.

I laughed and the sound was swallowed up by one million falling raindrops.  Then I drove right past the school's driveway.  Past the parked cars.  Across the street.  Into the parking lot.  To the back row.

We flipped open our mismatched umbrellas, jumped into the maelstrom, splashed through puddles and into the wind and across the street.  We screamed and hopped and ran and got wildly, madly, soaking wet, from heels to shoulders. 

Inside the front door, our shoes squeaked and we tamped down our giggles into something more manageable, like hiccups.  We shook off glittering droplets from our umbrellas, and walked to Mia's classroom.

I kissed her forehead.  She rewarded me with a dazzling smile. 

I caught that feather cleanly.  It was mine.  For a few minutes that morning, I waved a soggy, rain-wet feather over my head, claiming the moment. 

Then she walked to her desk, and I let the feather fall to the pile, where it belonged.  A softness of feather-light memories, some forgotten, some mistaken for tedium, some appreciated.  And this one in particular: sodden and dripping and unforgettable.

But that's time: soft and incessant and begging to be remembered.

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 here today! Reflect upon something simple — or simply magical — that’s resonated with you this week, then share it with us!


  1. Sarah, your writing here is so rich and sweet. Way to catch that feather, and could you teach me how to catch a few, too. Because I don't know that I would have gotten a hold of that one. But I see the beauty in you having done so.

  2. That last line... I want it on a wall somewhere :)

  3. An unforgettable post to go with an unforgettable moment. Seriously, this might be my favorite of yours yet...

  4. The thing about feathers is the slightest movement or breeze can carry them out of reach. But you have an enormous talent for catching them. So, by the time your kids are grown and moving on with their lives you will have a huge, fluffy feather bed to rest upon!

  5. Such a perfect description of childhood moments...
    savor each one (as you are doing) because soon...
    you will be me...
    with the youngest now living two time zones away...
    living her dream.
    I am ecstatic for her...and yet it is bittersweet...
    I miss her.

  6. That was awesome. It would have been so easy to miss that moment in the whirlwind that is daily life. How beautiful that you were able to stop and recognize the memory-making potential of your wet feather!

  7. Oh I love this visual of capturing feathers. Truly beautiful and remarkable post, Sarah. I hope you catch endless feathers.

  8. This is one of those posts I had to come back and read a few times. It will stay with me ~ I don't really want to 'add to' with comments. It just beautiful!

  9. Oh, a dance and giggle in the rain is one of those precious and unforgettable feathers in the pile, so glad you could capture it. If only for a moment.

  10. Oh my word. This is an amazing piece. And these words especially - "it's possible and worthwhile and even exhilarating, if you hold your breath and close your eyes and jump right into the moment". I love this simple moment that you captured not only in words but in your heart and in a memory you treasured and chased and embraced. I love this, completely.

  11. I miss glimpses into the beauty of your world. Hope all is well with your little brood.


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