Monday, April 24, 2006

Dead Poets, Ferris Beuller and Potty Training

I really should have learned this lesson by now from watching Dead Poet's Society, or Ferris Beuller's Day Off, or simply from potty training my children.

Carpe Diem.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.

You may as well try while you're here, because there might not be a bathroom available later.


The following are silly examples, really, but indicative of a general sense of lethargy that I have allowed to creep into my life, slowly, of course, as lethargy is prone to do.

Example One occured on Thursday, as Cary and I were driving to Subway to deliver a surprise birthday cake to her daughter, my student, at work. As we made the approach into Stevensville, slowing down for the train tracks, I saw them. The trees were down. Huge trees, recently felled, laying awkwardly on the ground with their stumps painfully exposed. Half a dozen of them or more.

Huge.

They were THE trees, the giant cottonwoods (I think) that I have admired since we moved here, every time I have driven past them. They must have been a hundred years old or more. Not only were they beautiful trees, but a rancher had, long ago, used them as the basis for his fence line. He had put up a rail fence when they were still saplings, apparently, and the massive trees had grown up and around the rails. The fence rails were literally swallowed up by the big trees and had become a part of them.

Since I've moved here, I've reminded myself to, one-of-these-days, bring my camera to photograph that fence, knowing my words would never do it justice.

It's gone now. Forever.

Example Two is not as significant as century old trees, but reminds me of the principle, just the same. The fire station near the kids' school has a marquis out front that has proclaimed the following message since late November:

WINTER IS HERE
CLEAN CHIMNEYS
HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Just last week I was chuckling at the sign, which had gradually lost a few letters, leaving gaping holes which always reminded me of a seven year old's smile. I need to get a photograph of that sign, I thought, with the green grass and budding trees of Spring beneath it.

When I took my daughter to kindergarten today, the marquis was blank, a tall ladder leaned up against it.

Too late again.

These are silly, unimportant things, I know, but I feel like they point to a larger concept for me. What--or who--am I putting off that needs attention now, before it is too late?

This list could get lengthy.

4 comments:

alison said...

I think anytime we let opportunities pass there is sorrow and the reminder of other losses.

I too am really bummed about the trees and the fence. Why did they cut them down?

We cut down a tree today, only one. We planned to cut two but a young climber stopped us. I plan to blog.

Jeannie said...

Oh, too bad! But, what a great lesson out it!

CML_Shearings said...

You express yourself well verbally, Sherry, as when we saw those felled giants, but you excell in putting concepts on paper or a blog! Could be that's why some of us check frequently to see what might be next on your blog.

alison said...

That little sun on this page is really hurting me.

Happy for you.

If I could steal sunlight I would.