Life will never change the tempo of its cadence. It passes precisely, diligently, silently and leaves only footprints of who passed before you.
Footprints of Christmases past is all you had this year and the expectation of it coming round again.
Crystal Woods said, “Time flies, whether you are wasting it or not.” That is so true. It doesn’t care much about how you spend it, it just… keeps… moving. Relentless. Persistent. Driven.
Have you ever wanted to prolong a moment in your life. Perhaps you’ve wished to make something last a little longer. And how many times have you said, “I wish this time would never end.”
The sad part is the quick passing of the especially satisfying moments. Like Christmas. One of the great minds and most influential physicists of the 20th century remarked on time in his often-quoted phrase, “Time flies when you are having fun.”
A man as brilliant as Albert Einstein knew how important it was to redeem time because of how quickly it passed and how fleeting it is.
And what makes the moments special are the people in your life. Although most don’t realize it fully until they are gone. As a child I remember grandpas and grandmas and aunts and uncles, cousins and best friends who are no longer alive. The few memories that you’ve gathered are so sweet that you could gain weight just from the thoughts alone.
When you smell a pie baking in the kitchen or a candle burning in the hall, or see a present under a tree, many times it will bring you face to face with a loved one you haven’t seen in a while.
Here at “the most wonderful time of the year,” we manage to get ourselves so busy and at times, so stressed that we lose our focus of those around us and of the bigger picture that we are all just walking each other home. It’s so bad for some people that they even dread the holiday coming every year instead of stopping to watch time pass and instead of running right along with it. Read that again.
I learned a great lesson from my grandmother who was a classy, wise woman; a servant to her community and a woman who adored her family. When she was younger, I noticed how bouncy and bubbly and talkative she was. As she got older, she grew quiet. Not depressed. Quiet.
I got home from college my junior year and on Christmas Eve Grandma was sitting on the couch while the noise level in the house could have set off a “five” on the Richter scale. I came and sat next to her and asked her if she was OK.
She said, “Fine, why do you ask?”
I pointed out that I thought she was quiet and perhaps she was sad because Grandpa passed two years earlier at Christmas.
She replied, “Oh, you’re the berries…” and laughed. One of her favorite sayings and how I miss hearing it.
She said some things that changed the dynamic of stopping to watch time pass instead of running with it.
She said, “A few years ago, I never thought about grandpa leaving. Here it is, two years later and I’m mad because I don’t have more pictures of him. Not actual photos, but just taking the time to snap more mental images of him when he was here. I don’t remember his last Christmas, but I do remember the first Christmas he was gone. So, I have set my mind to take more pictures. I am sitting here just enjoying all of you. I am taking lots of pictures. Studying your laughter. Listening more intently to your stories and hanging on every inflection of your voices. Stopping to hug you a little longer and remembering exactly how it feels. Watching your face as you take the first bite of pumpkin pie. I may not be around next year, who knows? But when I leave, I’m going with my photo album so I’ll remember you perfectly until I see you again.”
And then with a tear, she told me to stop and take more pictures.
“Because,” she said. “You never know who you’ll have to remember next year when they’re not sitting across the room from you.”
Perhaps that is why as a journalist and photographer, in actual photos I take, I want to capture the moment of emotion. Obviously, a gift from my grandmother.
This year I encourage you to stop and just for a while, be still. Take it all in. Take lots of pictures. Study the faces, listen to the laughter, feel the arms around you and love them while you can. These are the presents that are the best because they are part of life’s intangibles.
Like grandma’s quiet.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Wyoming Newspapers. It is a joy to be a part of this Platte County Family.