Honestly, for this week’s photo challenge, I had to look up the word ‘ephemeral’.
And here comes the definition:
1.lasting for a very short time.
“fashions are ephemeral”
synonyms: transitory, transient, fleeting, passing, short-lived, momentary, brief, short;
Even though this is the very first time I’ve ever used the word “ephemeral” in my life, I so get the meaning. I think I could post a photo a day for a month and still come up with ideas for ephemeral. I’m so aware of those “window moments”….moments when a window or door is opened, and before long, it is closed.
Maybe one of the reasons that I’m so aware of how precious moments are is because I’m a mom of ‘children’ who are now in their teens and twenties. I can still look at them and see them as that baby taking his first steps or sleeping soundly in my arms. I can still see them as a toddler saying “no” or a kindergarten student getting on the bus for the first time. I see them as those awkward fifth and sixth graders and socially aware sixteen year olds. And I see them as they are in front of me right here, right now, and I”m thankful.
Or maybe one of the reasons why I’m aware of those precious moments is because we’ve had a lot of loss in our family. Sometimes loss makes us appreciate gains in ways we never would’ve been thankful for unless we’d experienced the loss.
Or maybe, one of the reasons why I’m so aware of treasuring the time with people in my life is because like most everyone, I’ve lost those that I love and watched others lose those who they love. And when you lose someone you love, you want to hold on to those who are still here.
Or, maybe I’m just becoming more aware of how precious life is and these ‘ephemeral’ moments are because I’m getting older. The hair is turning gray, the clothes aren’t quite fitting the way I’d like, and the wrinkles around the eyes are becoming more pronounced. Yes, things that are here, won’t necessarily be here tomorrow, and things that are not here today, could crop up in an instant.
And maybe, a knowledge and appreciation of the value of things can help us really live in the ephemeral. Planning for the future is a good thing, learning from the past has value, but all of it wanes compared to being able to live in the now… the ephemeral, fleeting, precious “now”.
And last night? I was aware that I was living in the precious, ephemeral “now”. The sun was just starting to set as the game started. It was beautiful. It was relaxing. It was fun, and it was ‘ephemeral’. As the sun disappeared on the horizon, I watched a great group of kids play together that I have watched play since they were in elementary school. Watching the sun set was a symbolic moment and I shed a few tears upon the realization that these days won’t be here too much longer. My son who plays baseball is a senior, and I’m not certain that after the next month or so, that we’ll be watching many more games.
After almost two decades of watching, cheering, and encouraging my sons on the baseball team, it looks as though that window of time is going to close. It’s funny, because It seems like yesterday that we were venturing out to the t-ball field with our first child. I’ve loved this part of our lives because baseball is about so much more than baseball and sports are so much more than just competitions of athletic ability. These kids have literally grown up together. They know each other’s strengths and they know each other’s struggles. They’ve encouraged, laughed, cried, and given their all on that field and I just love that. And the momma’s and family on the sidelines? We’ve encouraged, laughed, and cried as well. The moments haven’t just slipped by. They’ve definitely been experienced whole-heartedly! I recently joked with my son after a very close game that I might just be as sore as he was the next day because my muscles were so tensed up. In that close game, the moms and dads and encouragers were experiencing EVERY pitch, every swing, every throw, because each one could have an impact on who won or lost the game.
That’s something else about the ephemeral. Even though something is fleeting, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a short term, long term, or even eternal impact.
So, this week, (if I have time, ha!) I”ll probably be posting a lot of photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge on the “Ephemeral ” topic. And in the midst of all these fleeting moments, an undercurrent of it all will be to enjoy the ephemeral. To Live in the Now. To be fully awake to truth that each and every ephemeral moment is a gift. Experiencing , living through, and embracing those moments is like opening a gift. Just being numb to them is like having a gift that we don’t even unwrap.
And one more thought… One place where the eternal and the ephemeral metaphorically collide is in the faith that sees that the Everlasting God is ‘all in’ in the now. I love how Isaiah 40:28 says that the “Lord, the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth”is ‘fully awake’ in the moment. The verse says that “He will not grow tired or weary.” He’s not like a bored spectator on the sidelines. He’s not merely tolerating and tired and hemming and hawing through life. He’s the eternal God who is fully present in the moments and who knows the players on the field. He intimately knows the players on the field, and their future, and their past. I don’t think He’s like a parent who tenses up a bit and worries like yours truly, but I do think that God is fully awake and aware and available for those who call upon His Name. He is available to be fully present in the moments that we are in. And that truth? That truth makes these ephemeral moments, not merely fleeting and fast, but precious and full of possibility and promise. I think ‘ephemeral’ might just have become my new favorite word…
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” Isaiah 40:28