Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Thinking about Autumn

This is from a couple of years ago.

A friend of mine had sent me a note about how quickly his kids were growing up. I wrote this back, and I thought you might find it interesting...
Empty parking lot,
Autumn has chilled the air.
Single leaf blows by.

With Ashley being a senior, and only months away, really, from departing to school, and never really coming back again, I am racked with nostalgia.

Every day is different. The bottom line is that it's truly a pleasure to watch them grow everyday. Each day that passes, however, is lost. With Ashley we had so many "firsts," and now with Katie, we are rolling along, collecting "lasts." We laugh with other parents about having done our time at St. Mike's (since Ash was in 2nd grade), and now WE'RE almost out. So many memories, so many good friends.

About every six weeks or so, for the last year, I've been going to funerals. I'm at the age where the parents of my friends are all dropping like flies. Lately, I've noticed that we tend to look at each other, wondering who will be the next host.

With these funerals, and my Mom in the nursing home right now, I watch the leaves blow off of the trees across the lot, feel autumn foreshadowing winter, and sense just how quickly time slips by.

Looking at old pictures - it seems like just yesterday that they were so small. The Mrs (mine) has constantly been taking pictures since birth, but stuffs the pictures away. I've always been puzzled. I've finally figured it out - when they're both gone, and we're faced with an empty nest, she'll have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pictures and memories to sort and and organize. I couldn't dream up a better activity for her.

Before you know it, they'll be on their own, collecting "firsts" and "lasts," and wondering about our health, as we watch the autumn wind blow the leaves from the trees.

1 comment:

ms_lili said...

poignant meanderings...