Beside the Quiet Water

Featured

I can only imagine what chaos life would be if I were being tossed around by the storms that surround me. Somehow I am able to lay beside the quiet water. It’s not like I’m in charge of any of the storms or have any control over them anyway. It’s still true that they are certainly out there, except they have no impact on me and I have no control over them.

I see myself laying on the edge of a large, mountain lake where I can feel the wind blow over me while the gentle ebb and flow the water splash against me where I lay. The sight is almost hypnotizing in its rhythm, back and forth across the pebbles. The wind through the pines are the perfect level of sound like the best background music I could have ever chosen. However, if I sit up a little and look out across the lake where it meets the horizon, I can see the water is rough out there. Little white caps from the waves kicking up and folding over themselves are a little disorienting because it is in contrast to the water here on the edge, where the water just trickles gently back and forth. The wind is doing more out there than making sweet music in the trees. If I strain, I can hear how it makes the water create it’s own noise in the splashing. The sky looks a little dark, too, as if it is a completely different sky from the one I’m laying under at the shoreline.

The thing is, I know that the storm is out there. It might be coming my direction or it might just blow on past. From where I lay beside the quiet water, that storm is out of my reach and beyond my control. So I lay back down and let that distant storm play itself out while I lay beside these quiet waters.

“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”

You’re gonna miss this.

When I was a new mom I was quite convinced that if one more well-meaning, mature woman told me to “Enjoy your children, they grow up so fast”, I might just slap them. Of course it turned out to be the absolute truth but it’s not the kind of advice you can just receive and put into action.  Not understanding what the future will look like is part of the process of living.  So much is only understood in 20/20 hindsight.

Children growing up too fast is only part of life that you’re gonna miss someday. For some reason, this week I’ve been especially missing my parents. They’ve both passed years ago; dad has been gone 21 years and mom gone almost 16 years. How old does one have to be to quit craving a long-distance phone call with their mom and a big bear hug from their dad? I don’t have any guilt or regrets about our relationship because we were very connected and close. Sure, I would have spent even more time with them for my own sake if I knew how much I was gonna miss it.

Maybe it’s the era of Social Media, but reconnecting with friends of my youth actually adds to wishing for the past. Reminiscing together is fun for a minute but then it starts to gnaw at my heart in a longing way for those days gone by; the easy, care-free days of no responsibility with all my life ahead of me. I would have skipped the wasted time wishing I were older if I had known how much I was gonna miss it.

The lesson I’m learning is that it’s okay to visit the past but I can’t set up camp there. I have to find the new normal, the purpose, and the joy in today because it no longer takes well-meaning people to tell me that I’m gonna miss this.