A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.
My mom is now in the winter of her life. At 83, her body is shutting down, and she is in need of more assistance in her basic daily living skills. It has been a traumatic journey for her recently, and given me much on which to pause and reflect.
I think about all she has given me over the years. I was a sickly child, with asthma from the time I was born. I almost died of pneumonia when I was one, and was in and out of hospitals from a very early age. I had every childhood disease imaginable. And in all that time, my mom never complained, and never once wasn’t there for me.
And now in her most vulnerable time, I try to be there with comforting words. To give her guidance, to talk about her day, every day I can even though I am almost 3000 miles away.
And I think about my own mortality, now more than ever before. How much time I have left here on this earth, in this body. How long will it continue to allow me to do and think about the things I love….even the everyday things like walking, eating, breathing.
As I think about all this, I am drawn back to the Wabi-Sabi principles I learned about in January, in particular Principle 6: Accept the inevitable. Life is evanescent. Before we know it another day has gone by, and then another month and another year….and then more years than we care to think about.
So if life is so fleeting, what can we do to not let it pass us by? I think this is why I have been in a ‘noticing’ frame of mind recently. To experience each moment….be present, be aware of my surroundings. Really look, and deeply listen. And especially become aware of myself. Observing how I feel, what I am doing, how I am reacting to my life. What choices I am making. What might I want to change or do with my life right now.
And I have found great freedom in this noticing. I find I am free now to do what I want…whatever that might be. I am still discovering, even now in my life, that new paths are always showing themselves to me if I can be more aware.
Winter is a great time to reflect on our lives. This past winter was a brutally cold one. One that wore on with endless days of piles of snow unrelenting, and a frigid, bone chilling wind that never ceased to howl. And under all that snow was a garden about to come to life again. But for a long time though this winter, all I could see were my memories of it as it was held frozen below the landscape of white.
And if I take any lessons from this winter, it is this season will pass and be replaced by a new season, a new path, a new time, a new memory. As I sit with the window cracked listening to the last of winter’s winds blow through the barren trees, I smell the change it is bringing.
And I hear the birds once again singing in a new season….rejoicing for this new time that is at hand. A time to celebrate the beauty of what was, and what is to come. A new garden to be born with new memories to be made. My life, still before me each new day lived to its fullest. The possibilities are endless when we are aware, in the moment.
I am sharing this life and garden lesson with Beth@PlantPostings for her wonderful Garden Lessons Learned meme. I hope you will join her.
Note: All these images, of my garden, were taken this February during our brutal winter. Even in its bitter cold and snow, there was beauty to be found. The last photo is of my early spring garden last year.
The quote, at the beginning of the post, is the last Tweet Leonard Nimoy made a few days before he died. I found it inspiring, thoughtful, and in his honor as Mr. Spock, “fascinating”. May we all, “Live long and prosper”.
I leave you with another thought about aging, acceptance and life. Feel free to download this photo and share.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.