The seasons change.
And as time goes by, the look and feel of everything changes. A house, a tree, a family.
There’s a longing in it. A grief that the happy times don’t continue on indefinitely. That nothing in this world continues on indefinitely.
When I was younger, I didn’t feel that longing. To understand that time passes because you’ve felt it pass, you’ve seen parts of you drift and change and sway and steady, is to feel longing.
In this world some would teach you to despise that longing, to hide from it like any other grief.
I hear people say “30 is the new 20.”
“Every woman can be a cougar.”
“Ignore the numbers.”
“I’m celebrating my 15th time of turning 30.”
And I think how sad.
How sad that the world has taught us that this longing for what is sweet and lovely should keep suspended, wishing we were young, wishing we were single, wishing our life never changed.
I don’t want to say carpe diem. Because as the mother of young children there are some moments in time that just suck and I want them to leave, I don’t want to seize them any more than I want to be seized by them.
But time is something to be treasured, not grasped. To hold lightly and let it slide and move.
The seasons change. God created a world to help us see that time is fleeting.
Age, in a person where time has been treasured, where purpose and intention and love have ruled, is truly a blessing. The hard choices have created a better long game than I ever imagined when I cried and labored and prayed for daybreak. And maybe that’s part of why I’m content with thirty, when I see so many fighting the passage of time, grasping at the past. Because my twenties were full, but not always full of happy, sweet things. They’ve been full with struggle and failure and change too.
All of it together, the sweet and the struggle, has shaped this thirty years.
Thirty is a badge on my heart like the badges on my Girl Scout sash when I was little. A badge of merit and pain well mourned and lessons learned and love relished and dreams for the future and my middle age.
I realized right before I turned thirty that in the months following my fortieth birthday my boys will turn sixteen and thirteen. Turning thirty was like a hat tip from God that the seasons will keep changing. To find my way to grow and bloom in every season. I have these next ten years to cherish the childhood of my boys. To read The Cat In The Hat and Treasure Island. To jump on the trampoline and lick the batter off the mixer paddles. To teach my boys how to be men.
And also to prepare for the next change in the seasons. To let these boys slide and change and grow and bloom like the time and the love they embody.