Today was one of those unusually beautiful fall days when though rain seemed imminent, the crimson glory of many trees in our neighborhood seemed to cling to their clothing just daring the wind to unwrap them and leave them barren. Thankful for another day before the colder weather planning to rush in with the relatives for Thanksgiving, I made a choice to absorb the autumnal colors before they disappear for another year.
Walking through the hallways of my grandchildren's school, I saw the repeated reminders of "today is feast day" and "half day pick-up," reminding me that Thanksgiving holiday begins for the little ones today. I could feel the excitement in the atmosphere as I joined a line of grandparents outside a classroom door and and exited the building with my two chattering grands. "Happy Thanksgivings" rang out around every corner.
When we arrived home and stepped from the car, I heard the "oh my goodness... look at that!" before I saw what created such enthusiasm in their voices. The wind had suddenly picked up and seemed to be intent on stripping a small oak in the neighbor's front yard as deftly as a child strips a cob of corn from top to bottom. I realized they had never observed this kind of thing before as I watched my grandchildren screaming and laughing at this unusual turn in the weather. For a few moments we found ourselves mesmerized as we saw the remnants of this tree's spring and summer clothing click clacking down the street, dancing along as if they were on a journey to a new destination and couldn't wait to get there.
Inside we went to make our lunches and headed to the outside deck where we were in for another treat. While munching on our pizza, we were privy to a bird show that brought my two precious ones out of their seats again. A flock of small birds flew into the treetops of the evergreens out back only to be whisked away together in formation by a sudden gust of wind. The absolute joy on the faces of these children were priceless. I have to admit my secret desire for them to share my love of nature. Having a chance to take part in their fascination was a gift and so much more exciting than the experience would have been had I observed this alone.
I read recently on my niece's blog the following statement:
write something down – the lyrics to that song, the people that you love, the one moment today that was worth hanging on to, a conversation you want to remember, something you want to do tomorrow, a list of places you would like to see, something that is beautiful in the middle of the chaos. write it down because it was real…
We never really know what an experience, a conversation, a song or story may ultimately mean to someone we love. I find myself wondering what part of these experiences today will touch my grandchildren's hearts forever? I have already learned that many things I've done with my grandchildren have been forgotten. The first time I heard my grandson say, "I don't remember that" was a bit disheartening for me. We have had so many cherished and memorable moments. Though we may not have absolute recall of the details of our memories, I believe they reside deep within our soul and
grow into something supernatural there that sustains us in times of loneliness, insecurity and discouragement.
Just as the wind blows willy-nilly and takes the leaves wherever it wills, real and special times with those we love may be lost as they are swept into our memory bank along with hundreds and thousands of other thoughts and experiences. It is dusk now and the brilliance of the sunny day has passed by and the time with my two precious ones as well. In years to come, they may never recall the wind, the trees, or the birds but the laughter will somehow be written in their hearts to sustain them when the winds of hope need to blow through their lives.
Today I was encouraged by another writer, my niece, to write down the memories of my day. A simple and short lived experience with perhaps eternal ramifications. When we write about our moments, our memories, our hopes, plans and dreams, we encourage others along the journey. Our words can live on like laughter.They can take up residence in someone's heart and live there forever. Write something down.