Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

The temperatures have dropped; there is a dusting of snow on the hills. Fall took its time this year but it came and now winter is on its way. Just like last year, and the year before and the year before that.

I'm glad Fall was a bit slower this year. It seems like the last few years Mother Nature has looked at the calendar and on September 1st marched right into cold, crisp weather. I like the changing of the seasons and I love the fall. More than January 1st, Fall feels like a new beginning with a school year just starting and all the 'new' things that go with it: clothes, notebooks, teachers, classes, etc. It's exciting to anticipate what lies ahead in the next months.

But it's also a sign that time marches on whether I want it to or not.

In high school I was in the play 'Fiddler on the Roof'. I was one of the townspeople. I wanted to be the second daughter who got to marry the school teacher but I couldn't/can't sing and Fiddler is a musical. Actually, I can sing but it isn't pretty to hear it. So, I was part of the town and really into my part. One of the best known songs from this play is 'Sunrise, Sunset'. It is sung during the oldest daughter's wedding by the parents as they reflect on how time has past without them hardly realizing it. They've gone day by day in their lives and their children have grown before their eyes. I remember thinking as we practiced that song over and over in preparation to perform it how true the lyrics were.

'Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Swiftly through the years. One season following another laden with happiness and tears.'

I was a senior at the time and thought I was so experienced in life and seasons. It's true I did have some experience - especially with the happiness and tears - but I really had no idea how fast seasons could change until I became a mother.

That is why I like Fall to come slowly. Each new school year propels my children further into their future and farther out of mine. This is a good thing, I know. It's the purpose for having them: raise them and let them go on to make their own contribution to the world. But it's also a sad thing. For me. I feel like I anticipated being a mother for years and although I will never stop being a mother, the time for my children being little flew by way too fast. When my kids were small I used to look forward to their independence and the time when they were in school so I could have more time for myself. The time for myself thing never has seemed to happen which I really don't mind. I am grateful to get more sleep.

The seasons have brought change. My two oldest, both girls, are now in college and on their own. Where did the time go? I'm proud of them. They are good people and doing good things. But I miss the times when I could carry them in my arms or snuggle in blankets to read a book or watch a TV show. I still have two boys at home but when I ask for more than a hug they roll their eyes. They do like to play games or watch 'Psych' with me so I'll take what I can get. I've loved the years and seasons with all of them. Life has been much more meaningful with them. I'm sad the time has gone quickly but I look forward to what the seasons bring for them in the years ahead.

Today, thanks to Standard Daylight time, I got to see the sunrise. Tonight, I will watch the sunset. Another day will have past moving me and my family forward. The holidays are approaching along with the season and I can't slow it down.

So, I will enjoy it -each sunrise, sunset and season of the year. And be grateful I have family to share the time with.