These Are the Good Old DaysPosted: April 22, 2011
We celebrate Easter in a purely secular way (colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, jellybeans), but I’ve always liked the symbolism of the holiday: rebirth, new life, cleansing, celebration. The dark days are over, and there’s nothing but light ahead. Spring. It’s a heady time, with the arrival of the sun and the warmth (slowly but surely) and the green buds everywhere. It won’t be long before the school year ends, and summer, my favorite season, is just over the horizon.
It’s a time to sigh with relief after such a long, hard winter. To look around at all the good and feel grateful for it. To consider the people and things that make you feel content and peaceful and strong, and to appreciate them.
My yoga teacher Emma recently posted on Facebook, “These are the good old days.” I’d heard that before, and she reminded me how much I love it. It’s such a great way to put things in the right perspective — for me, to revel in moments like my older daughter losing her front tooth, or my younger one telling a sophisticated joke. Reading books all together in the evenings. Snuggling in the mornings. Watching them dance or run or laugh. Going for ice cream on Saturdays after swim lessons.
And even just my own moments: Passing a deer while I’m running in the reservation. Listening to a particularly harmonic “Om” in yoga class. Dharma dinners. Getting my tattoos. Sitting at my computer and writing and feeling so happy that I’ve made it a daily part of my life again.
Every day will one day be a memory. These are the stories we’ll tell years from now. We’ll sit and think about how great it all was. We’ll miss it. So while I’m here, in these moments, I’d like to try to enjoy the greatness while it’s happening.
I was there when my father passed away, in my childhood bedroom. Every life will end in one simple moment, in the time it takes to inhale and exhale. It makes sense to spend as many moments as you can up to that one being present and feeling grateful for the opportunity. Not every moment will feel good — some will be downright unbearable. I don’t think it’s our job to pretend they aren’t. It’s not even our job to be strong enough to bear them. We only need to be present with what is.
I am in a pretty good place. It’s not perfect, but it’s a place where I really want to be. It feels comfortable and stable. I got here on my own steam, and I’m proud of that. It’s a good old day.