carpe diem

Aug 17, 2009

We are home again. It was so good for my spirit to be away from this world of busyness, cell phones, internet, laundry, vacuuming, emails, distractions…yes, that is it, distractions that keep me from being who I really want to be and from doing what I really want to do. I cannot tell you how lovely my mountains are. They are part of me. I see them when I close my eyes. You know that “special place” all those birth books tell you to go to relax. I think its supposed to be a warm sandy beach with soft ocean waves lapping at your feet. Well, Green River Lakes is anything but that, but it is my special place. It has gotten me through four births. It gives me rejuvenation every year. It gives me strength. It grounds me. Those mountains work their magic on me and I feel more me.

I have been learning a lesson lately about change and savoring opportunities when they present themselves or even chasing them down when they don’t quite land in a gift wrapped package on my doorstep. This lesson has been building in my heart and mind for awhile, but this trip to my favorite place in the world (besides my husband’s arms) helped give it shape and drive it home.

Things change. They do. I think I haven’t always known this. I think I thought things would always be the same. The same stores would always be there. The same people would always be part of my life. The same books would be on my shelves. The same foods would always be available. The same clothes would be worn. The same hair stylist would be in the same salon in the same town and would have the same incredible skills. The same children would be adorable babies. The same trees would always be there.

Well, guess what? That is all a bunch of hooey. Stores close. People move, die, or drift on. Books get lent, lost, or destroyed. Favorite foods are no longer made. Clothes get stains, get holes, or are grown out of. Stylists leave or stop cutting well. Children grow up.

And trees? Yes, they get cut down.

My trees. My trees I grew up running around, sitting under, tying ropes to, hiding behind, and feeling completely safe in are gone. The forest service has cut them down. They have changed my favorite place in the world so completely it feels as if I have lost an arm, or a leg, or a best friend. As I walked around touching stumps and thinking of my friends, the trees, I was filled with memories of my childhood. Of running down to the lake with Camille, past the rock horse, across the watermelon stream, down through the trees where no one could see us. Of playing tag at the bathroom rocks for hours, surrounded by trees in our own little world. Of playing space ships on the hillside in the dark, not because it was nighttime, but because the trees were shading every inch of ground.

As adults, we have been camping there all but one year of our married life when it was closed due to a fire. I looked at tree stumps that once had been trees holding homemade swings for Blythe and Andie. I remembered Rook games, hot chocolate, meteor showers, and campfire songs under my trees. I remembered midnight talks with my cousins, walks with my grandma, cooking pancakes and fish over the fire, playing softball on our “field”, celebrating the girls’ birthdays, hanging up tarps, and watching moose amble through camp – always surrounded by my trees.

Now they are gone.

So are a lot of other things in other areas of my life and I have been trying to work my heart around all of that. My grandma is gone. Some of my friends are gone. My friend’s husband’s leg is gone. The grocery store I grew up in is gone. My favorite pants are worn right out and need to be gone. My dishes are slowly breaking and being thrown away (I only have 2 bowls left of 8!) My little brother and sister are finally grown up and moved out of the house we were raised in. My mother is almost 60. My miscarried babies, eight of them, are not here in my arms. My midwife may not be practicing anymore. My little ones are growing up (we just had our first birthday of birthday season and will have one a month till November). Our first violin teacher moved. Our next violin teacher just stopped teaching. Some of my friends’ marriages have ended. Each of our vehicles are on their way out.

Some of these are big, some of these are small. They have all played a part in teaching me that nothing is forever. Change is inevitable and I need to figure out a way to accept it. But accepting it is not the biggest part of the lesson – carpe diem is.

Seize the day. I need to live in the present with those I love and seize the magical moments of life. I need to live without regrets by truly living each day, not just existing. I need to love with my whole heart even if I know it is going to end up hurt. I need to give of myself to others, for tomorrow they may not be with me. I need to enjoy the blessings of each hour and not take them for granted. I need to live. I need to love.

I have learned something else.

There is one thing that is forever.


What lasts? Ice cream melts, flowers wilt, the leaves of autumn fall. Sunsets fade, seasons change, and children don’t stay small. Balloons pop, snowfalls stop, do summers last? Never! Weekends fly, today will die, but families are forever.

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  1. Thank you for your thoughts. I agree it’s hard to accept constant change. I resist it too, I am glad you are back and had a breather. That poem at the bottom was one of my children’s talks many years ago in primary (maybe Kate’s).

  2. Hi Tracy! I love your blog-it’s on my list of blogs I check often. You are always so uplifting and fun. Thanks to you for starting a blog so we can all read what your thinking!
    sally jackson

    • tracy

      How are you Miss Sally! I sooo wish I had spent more time with you when you lived here, but I am thrilled to know you are reading my blog – it will help me stay connected with you! We are getting ready for the LLL picnic in a couple of weeks – always a fun time at Nancy’s!

  3. Robyn

    Tracy, I hear you. I am still trying to wrap my head around some of the changes in my life. Some we have shared in the joy and sorrow. And so we move forward in our journey . . . carpe diem.

    • tracy

      Welcome Robyn! I don’t know that anything speaks “carpe diem” to me anymore than losing Kyle must have to you. What a lesson to each of us to seize each moment with our children. I have looked at his pictures repeatedly and thought of him and you and how hard the whole thing is. I loved seeing you and would LOVE to come down for a potluck birthy day in the park.