Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rushing Forward

I'm standing still and the world is rushing by at an alarming rate of speed. I'm lying on the ground watching the world fast-forward and I'm not sure if I feel the clouds skittering across the sky or the earth rotating at double-speed. I'm walking steadily, but people keep passing me, rushing, rushing, like whitewater over hidden boulders.

These last few weeks of summer erode the sand right off the shore, leaving me stranded, pining for the way things were. Except I never am content with the way things are, which tomorrow will be how they "were." My eyes are always peering ahead or lingering on the rear-view mirror. It's so hard to just be here, still, as the globe spins on its axis and the moon shifts in tiny but sure increments from a sliver to a shimmering orb.

Nothing stays the same, except perhaps for the pile of papers on the kitchen counter which are orphaned, doomed forever to wait for a real home.

Why is it that we mostly forget to feel the sands slipping through our fingers and yet, other times, all we notice are the particles of sand, one by one, drifting, falling, gone? These days remind me of that machine at the arcade where the Birthday Boy or Girl stands inside and tries to grab tickets that blow crazily inside. You've seen it, haven't you? And in the rush to grab everything, the excited child can't quite grasp more than a few?

The twins are almost my height now. My baby boy is heading to second grade, where he insists the kids will call him "The Cool King." My baby girl will be three in a couple of weeks and when I scold her, she retorts in a teenage tone, "No! You stop it!" My husband's gone gray and the leaves on those bushes by my front door are starting to turn fiery red. I look at my hands and see my mother's hands instead.

Nothing I do can stop this headlong rush forward.

And I still need to dip my toes into the Pacific Ocean before the summer ends. My kids ought to dig in the sand and feel the whip of the ocean wind at least once this year. I promised to take the boys to the waterpark. I want to stroll through Pike's Place Market.

Only a few weekends remain before we all climb back into our school routine and buckle up, just in case. I'll bid farewell to the summer my children were 12, 12, 7 and 2, this fortieth summer of my life. And so we speed along, faster than I ever imagined we could.


Blogger Ginger said...

It's going way too fast for me, too. And my mother tells me life just continues to speed by till you wonder where it went. I just want to slow this all down. Eternity looks pretty interesting to me, the older I get.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Feeble Knees said...

Oh! I want to stroll through Pikes Place too!! Glad that I at least got to do it once in my life, who knows when I'll ever be out that way again.

Go and buy yourself a bouquet of flowers wrapped in that crisp white paper. I wish I'd done that....

Hope you get a few small still moments to savor in the midst of the rush...

4:12 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

Me, too.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Ah 40. That kind of explains it. It's a watershed age, or at least we view it that way. Life is somewhat different on this side of 40 than that -- probably better on the whole.

6:16 AM  
Blogger lindaxo said...

You write so well. I wannabe you for that! I'm a 39 year old mother of four too. I used to write well at one time, but I suspect mothering has done something to my brain that makes it hard to string thoughts together anymore. August always makes me feel like I should be going to college.
Hope you make the most of what's left of the summer.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

I've been having those same thoughts lately. It all passes by to fast, and there isn't a thing we can do about it.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I miss the smell of 'sweaty kid head'.

Next summer, our family will have a NEW head to smell! I can't wait. Or, can I? I will savor this time...I will savor this time...I will savor this time...

9:55 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I know the feeling. I realized just this past week that two years from now, I will be preparing to send my first child off to university. I can't even bear to think about how much I will miss her.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

so glad to know my daughter's not the only one with that cheeky response!! I don't understand, either, how the days can go so fast and yet, they all feel so similar. we did go to the zoo, today. I'm glad for that.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:31 AM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

Mel, you are truly an incredible writer. Thanks for sharing this.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

I've been stuck in a daze as well this week. Our weather went from hot, humid and 90 -- to cool, overcast and 70.

The temperature of the lake is plummeting 2 degrees a night. It will never again reach 87 degrees this summer.

I feel that sand slipping between my fingers, and I so want to hold on to it. I am dreading it as the last drops fall through.

I am really resisting the change of summer turning into fall. I want one more jet ski on a hot day, one more good swim, one more day the sun whips across my face and leaves a sting!

7:07 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Sometimes I'm brought to tears thinking about the everyday things that I won't remember as my kids get older. I already think back to when my oldest were young and wonder how I can forget. But you do. The only think we can do to help is to write it down and that will help us remember one day what it was like when our children were young, and so were we!

7:18 PM  
Blogger Wash Lady said...

I'm right there with you :) The list is long and the current is swift here too and the ONLY reason that I'm wanting to usher in the fall is to get rid of this oppressive heat (and to perhaps buy that house that I'm wanting and write about)

3:56 AM  

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