Fall has fallen.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It passes so quickly.

detail, leaves at Maplewood, 2003

Last week, the hills were on fire with reds and golds and oranges. The cemetery filled with maples took my breath away. I gaped at the beautiful four-color maples (my favorite is that brief time when they're all colors- red, orange, yellow, and green-- swirled together as the tree just begins changing colors). I wanted to go hiking (which is pretty impossible with a baby), take forest photos, see the Elk down in Boxley Valley in the midst of all this color.

But this week, the scenery's already shifted to the coppery colors of late fall. The leaves are falling off the trees in earnest, and many of them have bare tops already. The temperature will be in the twenties tonight (lower than I've experienced in the last four years).

It's shocking how quickly autumn passes.


My dad turns 61 this week. Next January, he and mom will have been married 40 years. Life expectancy is-- what? 75 years or so?

I have maybe 15 years left with my dad. Who knows-- maybe 5, maybe 30. A friend's dad had heart surgery this week, and it reminds me how fragile our parents' lives are, how possible it is to lose them even at this stage when they still seem healthy and relatively young.

It's shocking how quickly life passes.


Last week, we had our ninth anniversary. We knew each other for nine years before we married, so now I've known my husband for eighteen of my thirty two years. More than half my life.

In some ways, it feels like we have always been married. In others, I can't believe it's been this long already. If we live long enough to be married for 50 years (and many don't), we've already experienced 18% of our marriage.

My husband went to deathclock.com and determined his approximate age of death, which he has placed on his Google calendar as a reminder of his mortality. I stare at it when he leaves his Google homepage up on the computer.

How quickly it's going to pass.

Is it weird that all of these numbers and statistics freak me out?

It's not as if I don't have an expectation of life continuing beyond death. I do, and I believe it will make this corrupted, aching place look like misery by comparison. But already have this fear that I'll not use my time well somehow, that somehow I won't quite be ready when my or my family's time comes.

I want to relish the blazing of the leaves. I want to relish the last of my parents' time with us. I want to relish my marriage.

The brown-copper of the hills brings all this to mind today.


Leave a Reply