It has been forty years.
That is a lifetime.
The children of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years.
Forty is supposed to be that time when one gets really serious about what one is going to do, that moment when being the grown up in the room really hits. Forty.
That is a very long time. Lifetimes. Many lives.
When did the calendar pages turn that quickly?
I watched my last child, my youngest daughter, the one that the universe smiled at me and gave me literally at thirty-nine years and six months because I said, "God, I refused to be pregnant at forty." Right under the wire!
She is living her fullest and best life at almost eighteen.
Filled with so many possibilities that she has no time to even consider them all. As a scholar, a cellist, an athlete, her days are so full, and then there are are friends and the business of living.
Last night, it was senior night at the football game and they honored the senior dancers, cheerleaders, and football players. It was the first time I was out on the football field with a crowd. Pretty exciting, the bright lights, truly Friday Night Lights, and the balloon tunnel and the claps. Of course we were so proud to escort her out.
I looked at the bright young faces and their parents whose hopes and dreams were wrapped up in these seventeen and eighteen year old bodies. And I wondered.
When do we stage our dreams that reality may or may not let happen?
It is the stuff of every late night or early morning Netflix show. It is about to fill our airwaves with all the holiday magic of hope eternal, that all can be with the right cookie, right holiday drink, or right song.
For one moment.
But that is really what life is, moments.
And then we blink and realize that time has truly passed.
If I had that allegiance and Covid hadn't wrecked havoc on everything, I can imagine that I would have flown back to my childhood hometown for the homecoming game, to ride in the back of a car during the parade celebrating our class.
Since when did time go by so fast that we are the elders in the room.
I'm still figuring out who I am. I think we all are figuring out who we are.
As we near another turn of the calendar and another holiday season of negotiating if it will be open windows or outdoor under a tent or family showing their cards at the door, we still have the wonder that this time gives us, and that is what this season is inviting us to do.
Much like the parents who were escorting their seniors through one of more-to-come escorts. It was acknowledging what was, the announcer called their names and who was escorting them, he thanked them for their dedication to their sport and wished them well in their future endeavors.
Now, we are a way off to graduation, like many, we have to get through those remaining college acceptances and auditions, for some, and portfolio review, for others, and so many essays to write before graduation. That means we have time.
A bit more time.
Time to just sit and watch them as they decide on their dreams, for it is their life, their future.
Because forty years will go by in the blink, I'm trying to make sure I've given her all she needs to dream.
Tomorrows are filled with hope, like the blue gray meeting the new light of day, there is hope in what is yet unwritten and yet still possible.
I'm not finished yet, even as she is beginning.
Neither are so many of you.
What dreams are you staging? As long as you are breathing, you are, you are, you are emerging.
So go on and emerge.
Emerge with smiles and pride, escorted by the memory of your brightest thought, knowing that whatever you want to do, the universe is waiting for you. Waiting for me.
Just this one moment, and be.