I have thought many times before that children are the ultimate measure of time. Their progress is one of the most palpable demonstrations of daily growth. Children change at a rate that is impossible to ignore, as long as you are paying attention.
It is easy to habituate to change, to focus on all the things that don’t matter, to get wrapped up in the daily grind and not take proper time to enjoy the little things that may seem the same everyday even though they are in constant flux.
A few days ago I started a public Instagram account for wickedrural. It was inspired when I wanted to rejoin a photo challenge I participated in years ago and found that my blog friends were not doing one for 2018. In the spirit of challenging myself I needed motivation to take time out of my day, stop and really look at all the things I pass as I rush from one thing to another.
There have been countless times this winter when I see beautiful things on my commute and don’t stop to appreciated them. Taking pictures is my way of tricking myself into to taking that time. Winter means there are no roses to smell but there are never-ending micro cosmos to explore. Often my internal excuse is that the picture could never do the scene justice, that some things cannot be captured digitally but this is a copout. There is no reason I should not or stop and soak in the beauty that surrounds me.
I should not need a photo challenge to motivate me. Unfortunately, I am stubbornly driven by goals; meeting challenges and deadlines. It is one of the reasons I push through my three-hour round trip commute to work, even though it is now that rare my position necessitates me being RIGHT ON TIME. Most of this internal mandate is driven by my commitment to my employees, why should I be flippant about start times when I must insist that they are not?
In the morning I point my car toward Mt. Washington; no more than a thin white strip on the horizon from my house, I end at that the feet of that lovely lady.
Pregnancy has changed a lot in my life but possibly not as much as it should. It is easy for me to ignore my own personal wants and needs, to put the common good first. I have in fact, made a career of it. I know that when I look back on these decisions I may see them in a different light. It is selfishness disguised as altruism when the one who suffers is suspended in my belly dependent on my actions.
A great deal of the beauty around me is a product of light, like children in constant flux. This time of year the snow and sun collaborate making each turn of the road singularly beautiful. When it warms, there is low mist showing the sun’s rays.
In the bitter cold and wind, snow gilds the trees creating forests of glitter with invisible glue.
All of these things will be different the following day or hour. I have tried to capture the vistas but often I fall short of the effort because I feel the foolish need to get to whatever place I am not currently occupying. My coworkers have been blunt about me needing to take time, to cut back and to make sure I am not overdoing it. That has been the hardest part of pregnancy for me. I am not one to make excuses or have others pick up my slack.
Children change everything. I learned that eight years ago when we moved here for the boys. Soon my life will be very different, with each passing day this reality becomes harder and harder to ignore. I have started to pause and capture conditions whose reality is fleeting.
This time of year in Maine you cannot stop to smell the roses as nothing is growing. I should remember that this does not mean that nothing is changing, that there is no progress. Last week Robins descended on our mock cherry, a sure sign that spring is on the way.
Other signs that things are changing are not so subtle and don’t fly away when I open the front door.
I need to start seriously thinking about things that seemed so far away but like Mt. Washington; everyday have crept closer and closer. I need to remember to enjoy the moments as they are now since they will continue to change.
Here we go again, another journey into unknown territory.