My movements were quick and frantic. The minutes raced by. I rushed around the locker room as I cleaned up after a run at the gym. The countdown was on to pick up the boys from daycare.
Her movements were slow and cautious. The minutes slowed down as she worked to get dressed and faced the task of getting her feet covered for the winter weather. Her walker stood next to her but it was of no help in this moment.
As she brought out the tool she used to help get her socks on, I turned off the hair-dryer and set it down. “May I?” I asked.
I enacted the same practice I do each morning for my little ones – pulling the socks over the toes, a gentle tug down the base of the foot, and then a final pull up the heel. First one and then the other. I helped her toes in the shoes and guided her heel down into its sole.
She was much more stijll than my boys are when I do the same ritual each morning. They wiggle and swerve and bob. She sat still and we shared a moment in the quiet.
At her feet, I confessed my naïve perspective that gets lost in the years of youth.
At her feet, I grieved our culture’s disregard for our elders and disrespect towards aging.
At her feet, I wondered about the stories of her days and the wisdom that lives within her.
At her feet, I gave thanks for life’s moments that catch me by surprise.
I rose and we smiled at each other. I finished getting ready and collected my things. I walked out to my car to resume my life of car seats and PB&Js and frantic counting of time.
Though I am in a life stage where my time is ruled by little ones’ wants and needs, may I not be one so consumed that I forget that each of life’s seasons are fleeting. May I remember the mystery that one day, time will slow down again and I will abide in the blessing and curse of its waves.