I think we all keep a mental wish list in our heads of stuff we want to get. If you’re a woman and the stuff involves shoes, then it’s a list of stuff you NEED to get. But I was thinking about several CD’s that would be cool to buy (apparently Hootie & the Blowfish came out with 2 CD’s and no one told me!), and how a trip to Best Buy is in order. It’s dangerous because 2 CD’s can easily turn into 5 or 6, and $120 later I realize I didn’t ACTUALLY need these CD’s.
So I am sitting at home and I see an ad for a new Billy Joel double-live CD. After adding it to the mental list, I reminisced about how I grew up listening to Billy Joel and how his work is part of the archetypal foundation of my musical preferences. I started thinking about all his songs I know by heart, and all the lyrics over which I spent many countless hours pondering.
I ran through the mental play list in my head – which just so happens to be right next to the wish list – and I got to “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.” On lyrical line in particular jumped out at me….again. “Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes / I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye again.” That line always makes me stop and think. It never fails to remind me that our current state of being is temporary, and that our lives are constantly in flux. We may not always realize it, but it’s true.
I see it in my daughter. She had another baby tooth come out last night. Her mouth is evolving into its adult form. Her body, unfortunately, is also evolving into its adult form. She told me today that she can’t wait to become a teenager. I didn’t catch what she said after that given the dizziness and nausea that followed her statement. But I can’t deny she is growing up, and her life and mine are constantly changing.
I see it in the relationship I have with one of my dearest friends. The irony is that I haven’t spoken to him in two weeks. Whereas we used to do just about everything together, now we seem to go out of our way to stay busy and not get together. Sure there is fault on both sides of the fence, but the reality is that it’s not what it used to be. Our friendship changed and evolved and took its new course.
Just like a river left alone in nature, our lives meander across the fields that make up our journey. Similarly, where erosion and sedimentation determine the changes in a river’s form, so do the deconstruction and establishment of new relationships determine the ebb and flow of our lives. What’s truly amazing is the constant swaying of our meandering lives causes interaction with the meandering lives of others, the result of which can have an impact on so many people down the road.
To stay with the water analogy, the experiences of our lives are not like a drop in a pond, but rather like a rock made to skip across that pond. The present is fast and fleeting, and every interaction of the rock’s exterior with the surface of the water causes a ripple that extends and encounters different ripples from the same rock along the way. And even though the pond may look the same, it will forever be changed, even in the slightest, by that skipping rock.
Tomorrow is going to come whether I like it or not. My kids are going to grow up, become adults, and have a family of their own whether I like it or not. Friends will come and friends will go. Memories will be made; some bad but mostly good, and life will continue to force us to evolve, whether we like it or not. I’m just glad God has given me the opportunity to feel the water as I skip across this pond of life. That and the new CD’s.