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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Carpe Diem

Life is good. I always smile when I see the bumper sticker or the t-shirts that proclaim this truth. What an odd way to display a sentiment that is both so simple and yet so profound.

As I sit by the pool, the radio is playing Don McLean’s The Day the Music Died. You know, “bye-bye Miss American pie.” The familiar tune has everyone’s toes tapping. A woman is in the pool smiling and twirling around in the water with her little girl. A big smile lights up her face as she creates memories with her daughter. The nostalgia for the good old days elicited by the music coexists with the feeling that this moment is creating a new set of good old days.

As women, as wives and mothers, sometimes we get so caught up in “Is the laundry done? Do we have any food in the house? What are we eating for dinner?” that we forget to look for the moments.

It’s been a year since we’ve gallivanted like this. A year since lifeguards have tried over and over again to get the kiddos to quit running and WAAALK. A year since we’ve been together and laughed. We seem to be grasping that these things are not to be taken for granted the way we used to. We have a new appreciation of Carpe Diem. Seize the Day. It seems more important now. In fact, it seems imperative.

The optimistic part of me hopes we can maintain this outlook. The cynical part wonders how soon before we forget. Covid has given us many lessons. We’re not blowing this out of proportion. It was a life altering experience. What will we do with the lessons laid at our feet?

Do you recognize the moment? The good life is made up of moments. Not the big things. Not the monumental events. It’s swinging a baby in the pool and seeing her eyes light up. It’s dancing in the kitchen with your husband or wife. These moments happen often but only for those who see. I think Elizabeth Barrett Browning had it right when she said,

Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.

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