"When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"
"They are the days of a long time ago, Laura," Pa said. "Go to sleep, now."
But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods…
She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
Lately, I've started to notice some changes in my children. My son's face no longer has its baby look. He's growing into a handsome young boy, full of life and excitement. He is taller, long-legged. He's a little boy now instead of a toddler. My daughters, too, are changing. Each day, they grow up a little bit more.
These changes are a reminder that this season won't last for long. Our lives go by, time passes, and soon we have reached the finish line on our journey back home.
It is a childish thought that Laura has: "It can never be a long time ago". Though it does seem that way as we live each day one by one, it is reality that our lives today will someday be something long ago. Our lives today will be just a memory.
But Laura's childish thoughts turn to wisdom when she declares that "now is now". Today, now, this moment. We get to enjoy it, feel it, live it. We can choose to notice what is happening in this moment.
It has really been a goal of mine to work on growing in my ability to live in the present. To not worry about everything that will come and to let go of all that has passed. I want to enjoy right now, recognize that right now will not last forever. I want to live in today's moment.
It would be easy for me to start to worry about things that are coming for our family. There is so much uncertainty with this path that we've chosen...there is so much that could change. I like to plan, I like to feel like I'm in control; I don't feel like I have any control right now. Homesteading is hard with little children. I could focus on how frustrated it is to spend so much time caring for baby plants only to have them get stepped on by little feet. Or how defeated I feel after putting three giant loads of laundry away only to find the hampers full once again. Or I could focus on the never-ending list of projects that we never seem to finish, the weeds that seem to be invincible, and the potato bugs that breed uncontrollably. I could sit and think about the bluebird baby that died in the house that C and D built together. The fact that D's game camera was stolen off of our land. Or the fact that although I know I will love this homesteading life, I'm really scared about all of these changes that are coming.
But today, I'm choosing to focus on today. We are in this season, and I want to enjoy this time. Today, as my son and I took the chicks outside from the garage, my middle one came over to me, soaking wet, holding the chicken waterer with a trail behind her. The chick's little coop was full of water, B's clothes needed to be changed though they had just been put on...but she looked at me and said, "Here you go mommy. I a big helper." She just wanted to help too. I reminded myself that this season will not be forever. Someday, she'll help me with ease. But today, I am going to give thanks for my little B-girl who makes more of a mess than helps most of the time because someday it will not be so.
As we got ready for bed the night before, B copied my every movement. She combed her hair, pretended to take out her contacts, and put lotion on her eyes just as I did mine. She smiled at me and giggled when I pulled her in close under the covers. She was so happy. I thanked God for the warmth and love of a little girl who sees only a perfect mother in an imperfect woman.
And today, C slipped his hand into mine as we walked toward the garden. How much longer will he still give me the pleasure of holding his hand? This season, too, will pass and holding my hand won't be something he wants to do any longer. So today, I thanked God for the opportunity to hold onto his sweet hand and I cherished the few seconds that it lasted.
Our baby loves to be snuggled. She cries when I put her down and refuses a bottle. She loves her mama. She insists on being wrapped up tightly in her little wrap, worn on me throughout the day. We have to take nursing breaks every two-three hours. Though it is hard to get my chores done when I have to nurse her so often and carry her around, though it is harder to weed the flowerbed with her strapped onto me, though it is hard on my feet to carry her all day, I am remembering that she soon will be too big for the wrap, she won't need me for nursing, and today I thank God for the opportunity to carry her and nurse her and give her that comfort that only I can give right now.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
So today, I rejoice for this season. Though it is hard and full of uncertainty, it is a wonderful season. It is full of love, full of snuggles, and full of laughter. We may not get everything done that we want to. We may not get anything done at all. But in everyday there is something good, something that will be gone soon, something whose season is coming to an end. So search for it, seek it. Find the good in every single day. Find the thing that you can be grateful for in this season and praise God for it. Because now is now, but soon, it will be a long time ago.
What are you grateful for today?
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