Sunday, December 4, 2011

Capturing Moments

As beautiful as this Christmas season is, it is easy to understand why the holidays are such a rough time for many people. Whether grieving for a loved one, worrying over the safety of a son or daughter, husband, wife, father or mother who is serving our country, or battling some other challenge, the season can be full of emotional triggers. It might be the sparkling lights or a specific Christmas song that tugs at the heartstrings, or it could even be the sight of falling snow. It’s important to remember there are those who struggle to find joy and cheer at this festive time of year.

Even if I have few troubles, I find myself quick to tear up during the holiday season. Sometimes I am fatigued in trying to do too much. Other times it is out of an intense desire to preserve moments spent with loved ones. And sometimes it is the beauty of all that Christmas represents which overwhelms me.

As beautiful a season as Christmas is however, I recognize that I have a tendency to take mental and emotional snapshots throughout the year. I’ve done this since I was a child. I stared and memorized as many details of my first home as I possibly could before we moved to our new house when I was eight years old. I did this on several snowshoeing treks I took with my Charlie over the past several years, not knowing when our last trek together might be. I do this when I see my parents and siblings each summer. I even sometimes stop and look over the teens in my classroom when I teach knowing how quickly the year will pass and how these people I spend my daily life with will move on to their futures. And I certainly did this with each of my own children as they grew quickly from infancy to teenhood. It is my way of stopping during the course of a day, however ordinary, and reminding myself that these are the moments that make up my life. They are each spectacular. I won’t remember them all perhaps, but to be fully present in each, as often as I can be, is all that truly matters.

Whether they contain happiness or sadness, whether the moments fade from our memory in years to come or whether we are struck by the intensity of the memories later on, they all happened. They all matter. They all make us who we are. It is important to let the moments be what they are and to find ways to quietly pause in hope we’ll all find more strength to carve out moments of peace, love, and joy in every season of our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Anne. I love it when I can take the time to soak in the moments of my life (but don't do it often enough). Sometimes I look down at Stella as she sleeps next to me, and I think, "I need to remember her like this. She'll grow up as quickly as the rest of them."