Yesterday, while we had the entire Backyard Playgroup together again, we had our family portrait taken.
While the photographer, a friend, worked her magic with the lens, we propped ourselves up against centuries old buildings. Later tree stumps and stair rails provided places to sit and lean.
Click, click, click.
And there we were—unaware of the granular pieces of sand sifting their way through the hourglass—happy to be in each others company.
This morning, house emptied, I sat, computer on my lap and replayed our time together advancing through each slide.
This is how fast the time slips past.
As I scrolled, the images of our children stared back at me from the screen, the ages they were yesterday: 26, 17 and 15, now permanently recorded.
A moment in time stilled, if not stopped. Now, steeped in silence, I study each of them—much the way I did when they were babies—with abandon.
When they would sleep, I would steal into their rooms, there I would stare for so long I felt I could draw them from memory; eyelashes against skin, a curve of the nose, two lips pinched together like piecrust and little fingers clenched in small fists splayed to either side of their head. Back then I could linger. Watch. Be.
Now—each of those moments remains forever tattooed on my interior wall of memory—if I were to watch any one of them with that sort of intensity today, I would be sensed, questioned, judged…
What. Here I am, in the now—no back, no forward—just right now. Me, alone with my computer, no rolling eyes, no protests, just smiles.
Here, I am simply free to marvel over the miracle that they each exist.