It was cloudy, but unseasonably warm in central Arkansas yesterday, nearly 80 degrees. When another plan fell through, my son and I decided impulsively to take a walk on a local hiking trail near Pinnacle Mountain. Because it was spur of the moment, I wasn’t really dressed for a hike — Clarks clogs and uneven ground not being the best combination — but I’m always up for a stroll through the woods. And a chance to spend time with my son.
We had a good time. The six-foot-one, 20 year old college sophomore and I laughed about some of the walks we had taken when he was little. Hikes with his dad and sisters along, back when my son was more interested in finding the “perfect” stick than in admiring the beauties of nature. His Sketchers being more hiking-friendly than my clogs, he bounded up the rocks, peered over the cliffsides, and pointed out some of the distant scenery along the Arkansas River.
Though the path we chose wasn’t crowded, we saw a few other families enjoying the warmth, anticipating spring. Two grandparents plugged quarters into a viewing telescope for their grandchildren to watch a flock (I guess that would be a gaggle) of geese on the water far below. A woman begged her two daughters to “act like you love each other” so she could take a picture of them together. Another woman foot-propelled a rented paddle boat across the emerald green water of the pond at the top of this post while her young daughter “paddled” with a long stick. I wanted to remind them all to treasure those moments.
When we’re young, the adults tell us that the years pass more quickly as we age. I’ve discovered that it isn’t my own aging that makes the years pass too quickly, but that of my children. One lives 2300 miles away now. Another is married and will soon move away, herself — possibly to the opposite coast from her older sister. It won’t be long before my son will be too busy with his own career to spend a day in the woods with his mom. I’m going to enjoy every moment I have with him in the meantime. I’m still close with all of my children, still talk to each one almost every day — but it’s not the same as when we all lived under the same roof and did almost everything together. I want to remind myself often to savor every chance I do have to spend with them. And to be grateful for all the memories.
Have you had a perfect moment lately? I hope the week to come brings more — and that you’ll find the time to appreciate each one.