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Sand through my hands

It is so cliché to say ‘Time is precious.’

And yet, it truly is. Unfortunately, we often don’t realize just how precious it is until we know or sense that something as we knew it is coming to an end.

We attempt to grasp time as it slowly slips like sand granules through our fingers. Our hands unable to secure it, or to slow it. Each granule representing a moment in time as it joins the foreshore that forms our memories of time gone by.

Moments. Our full presence demands we experience them in the knowledge that they cannot be relived in this way again. They are that moment in time and will not to be repeated. Bittersweet.

Yet we seem to move through most of the moments within our days without giving time a second thought, other than to check it against our schedule of things we need to achieve and places we need to be.

That is, until we are struck by a moment where our awareness cannot go anywhere but towards the passing of time. We are suddenly drawn to the realization that while we were busy doing all the ‘things,’ time did not stand still alongside us awaiting our attention. It passed by.

It discretely passes in the mundane day to day. In the brushing of teeth, the morning walks, the kisses goodbye, the errands run, the assignments completed, the emails sent, the 9 to 5, the dinners prepared, the bedtime routines, …

Most of our lives are made up of these very moments. Our lives exist here. These are the moments that we yearn for and crave when adversity strikes, yet most of the time they pass by with little to no recognition.

I don’t know about you, but for me it takes an upheaval to bring about the awareness of time passing. Milestones are often the catalyst. Another year older, important milestones for our own or other’s children, reminiscing about trips with family and friends, anniversaries of loved ones passing…

Milestones pull me here. They have me standing on my foreshore of time gone by, bending and scooping to recollect moments, reflecting on all that was, while simultaneously marvelling at the ever-expanding shoreline of memories.

Our youngest is about to start school in the next few days, so I am here. In a BIG way.

Fully aware of the passing of time. ‘Brutifully’ present.

I am standing on that foreshore and cannot account for where the last four and a half years since adopting our youngest has gone. Yet it has as she is merely days from turning 5.

Once again I find myself wanting to manipulate the passing of time, caught between the ache to speed towards that first school drop off, to rip the band aid off, and the desire to claw time to a halt so we can stay here a little longer.

For the past few weeks I have been brutifully present as our precious preschool years come to a close. Tightly grasping at the moments as they readily slip between my fingers and fall at my feet. In the heightened awareness of these precious moments passing I have started to grieve the end of this chapter, whilst feeling grateful to have had it in the first instance, and looking forward to the beginning of the next chapter. Cue an emotional sh*t storm!

Our time together recently has felt particularly bittersweet. The errands followed by a fluffy, the slow walk while noticing every flower, the books read, the inquisitive chats, the drawings…

Yet I know we will still have all of this, there will still be fluffy’s, just not in this same way. The preschool time has passed.

Recently in ‘Atlas of the Heart’ I read a paragraph within the ‘bittersweet’ section where social scientist, researcher, and storyteller Brené Brown specifically mentions the ‘bittersweetness’ of her own children’s milestones. Was she speaking directly to me? I had barely regathered before being sucker punched in the next paragraph by this quote from Marc Parent, ‘The bittersweet side of appreciating life’s most precious moments is the unbearable awareness that those moments are passing.’

I am IN this space. Savouring each precious moment, while watching it slip between my fingers.

Brutifully present.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.