I got my second Covid vaccine today and am feeling quite relieved. What a crazy 15 months it has been since we went into lockdown last year to where we are today. While I feel lucky to be on the other side of this pandemic (I hope), I am thinking about those who were caught in its trap and didn't get out. My heart goes out to them and their families.
A dear friend said something interesting to me the other day when we met up for coffee. She said the last year has felt as though life hit the big pause button and that it feels as though we are slowly emerging from a strange foggy dream. It's true. 2020 and the first half of 2021 (and in many places it is ongoing), there has been this collective feeling of life just stopping even though time was ticking away regardless. It got me thinking about time--the one luxury even the wealthiest people on the planet wished they had more of; the one thing no one can control.
I remember when I was a kid, the summers seemed to last forever. School holidays stretched out before us and during the day, the sun just seemed to stay floating in the sky for hours on end, only to start setting when we were dusty and spent, falling asleep to the sounds of our parents' voices chatting in the background. Time was something of which we had an unlimited supply. A cup that never emptied. Now it feels time just seems to speed ahead.
I can pretty much pinpoint when that shift happened, for me anyway. When I became a parent, I started to look at life through my son's eyes. Time--how it's spent, how it's measured, how it's marked--is all through how it impacts him. In some ways it's great because now I get to enjoy those long summer days with him, I get to enjoy trying to help him create those memories and feelings of love wrapped in warm summer breezes, legs that can run for miles or climb countless number of trees, and a fluffy pillow that will cradle his dreams as he drifts off to sleep every night. At the same time, as the days feel long for him, I am also mindful of just how precious they are for me.
The thing about getting older is that we are not necessarily graced with wisdom, it's that we are more aware of our mortality. That's just the way it is. I think about my parents and how I wish I could see them but a global pandemic barrier is keeping us from doing what was once so easy to do. Each day that goes by is a day they, we, get older. And then I think about my son. I often catch myself staring at my son--when he's awake, when he's asleep, when he's eating, when he's playing--absorbing everything about him. I catch myself falling into my old traps of worry--worrying about him, his future, worrying about our health and our future. It comes with the territory. It is what it is.
When I was a kid my dad would often listen to a form of Indian song called a ghazal--lyrical poetry, often nostalgic. He would tell me about one particular song that was about a man who knew that no amount of riches could buy back his favourite time in his life which was his childhood. My father would reminisce, with sadness. I don't see life that way. For me, it's these days, these salad days as my husband calls them, that I want to hold on to. At the same time, I am in full wonderment when watching our son grow, curious about where life will take him (we have told him we will follow him wherever he goes whether he likes it or not--granted, not the healthiest form of parenting but I digress...). And I know what the last year and half has taught me, if anything, is that I am exactly where I am meant to be.