At the end of last week I was wildly consumed by the writing project I’m working on (I still am!). I was putting in the extra hours, pushing myself to finish a part that I wanted finished. I was sitting at my desk on the second floor watching the view. There was a large crane in the distance broadcasting the golf tournament that was happening on the green on the other side of town. It was sunny, a bit breezy and my daughter and her dad were playing in the yard. She had a bathing suit on and was running through the sprinklers. You know the scene, right? Well it was the first of its sort this summer.
Seems far away now that it’s cloudy and the wind is chilly, people walking their dogs are wearing beanies and overcoats.
At that moment, when I caught her happiness as she ran through the sprinklers and giggled wildly as her hair got wet, a strong sensation went through me. Happiness in its purest form, but also something else – nostalgia for time that hasn’t even past yet.
I remember being small and getting this overwhelming feeling that “I’M ALIVE, ISN’T IT WONDERFUL?! I’M ALIVE.” Somewhere along the line this feeling has been replaced with the feeling “I’M GOING TO DIE. ONE DAY THERE WON’T BE ANY ME!”
I remember the first one as a blissful thing, ecstasy. And during childhood I remember being able to bring it forward from time to time. Then it became rare… and now?
Now I guess I take it for granted, but life is cruel because as soon as you become comfortable you realise this other dreadful truth – “I’M GOING TO DIE! ONE DAY THERE WON’T BE ANY ME!”
I did finish the part of the project I wanted to. Now a new part starts and I really hope that I’ll be as excited about this part of it as I was about the first part. It’s a wonderful feeling being so tangled into a project like this that it occupies your mind 24/7. It’s wonderful and makes me feel alive.
And it brings a hint of that old feeling back. Not to the extent that it did back then but to some extent. And as I sat there and got caught up in my daughters happiness as she ran through the sprinklers I promised myself that I’d try to keep the nostalgia at bay. That next time I’d run through the sprinklers with her, even if the project was on my mind and that I’d laugh as hard as she did.
And when something in me is staring through the window of that empty house that holds the answers to the biggest questions we ask ourselves, when I am lying in bed in the dark thinking ONE DAY THERE WON’T BE ANY ME then I’ll bring back that laughter, that smile and that feeling of being alive and I’ll let it echo through me.
Because something tells me that life is too short to be wallowing in the big questions. I will let the smaller ones occupy my mind. The questions that remind me that I’m alive and that it is indeed wonderful.
And I’ll get caught in my project. Because that truly makes me feel alive.