While It Lasts

When the white-haired lady with the orthopedic shoes puts broccoli in her cart and tells me to "enjoy it while it lasts," I listen. Because it is as true as it is cliche.

And it isn't just about the children and how quickly they grow, though that is certainly the bulk of it. But there is also a sense that these physical places, now familiar and replete with meaning and memories, will soon sit beyond my daily reach. How the sand from our favorite beach will disappear from beneath my feet and show up again only as a filmstrip in my head. How the street that hosted inaugural bike rides will soon carry on to the park without us.

I must take each day as it comes, enjoy it while it lasts, gather up the treasured moments like wildflowers among weeds, taking with me the color but not the thorns. This is what it means to me when I hear the word savor. To slow down and know right then: this is something I will later miss. To taste every bit of it, sweet or sour, and yes, to enjoy it while it lasts.

It is getting harder and harder to do this as moving day draws near. I am tempted to recoil so the lasts don't feel so final, to hide from endings, squatting cowardly behind a long to-do list. Yesterday as I signed with the movers, I was even tempted to leave earlier, so I could (and I quote my miserable excuse for a brain) "get on with my life."

But I do know better. And I especially know better now, after a spontaneous trip to the beach this morning.
This is no time to hide or run.
This is the time to enjoy.
While it lasts.

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