I walk in the bedroom and stop. There’s just a rug, stretching out long on the cleanly swept floor. No beds, no dresser, no end tables. I go back into the dining area and kitchen; tables, chairs, and counters are piled high with old videos, puzzles, a hair dryer, pots and pans, even the yellow baby blanket I wrapped Arielle in 24 years ago.
My parents are selling their farm, and we’re in the midst of sorting and packing. What are they keeping, what do each of us take for our homes, what goes in the yard sale? Much to do, decisions to make, too many questions. Moving is overwhelming.
Keeping busy tackling the to-do list occupies my mind, my energy, my time… and keeps my heart at bay temporarily. But when I step outside for a few minutes, I see the sun warming the tops of the hills across the field, the cows grazing, five crows flying over as they greet the morning, and my heart speaks up with an ache.
I’ve loved this place and will miss it very much, but that is only part of the ache. A bigger part is the unmistakable pain of the passage of time, with the knowledge that it will continue to pass and the fear of what that will bring.
The cows will have to move too, and they won’t come back to this field, but they won’t miss it. They will live and graze in another field, and they will be fine. We all will continue to live in other houses and we will be fine, but we will carry our memories as precious and grieve for what we no longer have. The cows live each day, eating, walking, and sleeping, and then they live the next day, eating, walking, and sleeping. They don’t regret what has passed; they don’t worry about what lies ahead. They eat, walk, and sleep.
We eat, walk, and sleep, also, but we look back and enjoy memories, but also count loss, and look ahead and fear more loss. Moving bolds and italicizes that “time is passing” and we cannot push it far from our minds, as we usually do with the routine tasks and chores of daily life, because the tasks and chores of today are the bold and italic markers of the passage of time.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1