As I get older, I realize how many things have changed so drastically in the world that it is almost unrecognizable in comparison to the world my children know.
When I was a kid, ladybugs were bright red with black dots. The kind of red that is fully saturated and brilliant. In my daughter’s early years, I remember reading that another species of ladybugs had invaded, and all of the ladybugs eventually would be a dull brownish-red. I pointed out the beautiful red ones to Madeleine when we would encounter one and think to myself, “This might be the last one I will ever see.” I cannot recall when I saw the last radiant red ladybug. Every time I see a brownish-red one now, I remember them the way they were, and it makes me nostalgic for my youth and the things that have changed that I cannot get back.
Things change, and they will keep changing. So I will keep remembering just how precious every moment is and how each is a gift from my loving and kind Father in Heaven. I could choose to be depressed over the loss life brings, but how ungrateful and what a waste of His precious gifts in season.
Our home is perched on the side of a hill with an overgrown gully down below, and it provides the perfect breeding ground for lightning bugs. Some summers when the recipe of rain and heat have come together in just the right measurements we delight in a luminous dance each night of tens of thousands of flashing bugs that would astound kings and queens with their regal splendor. The only way to enjoy this experience is to be completely in the moment. You let it wash over you and thrill you until you feel the giddiness of childhood take over.
You cannot take a picture of a lightning bug, so I must simply enjoy the moment and treat it as a gift that I may never get again. It is like eating a piece of pie and savoring each and every decadent bite.
I do not always choose to be in the moment, but I am enjoying the precious ones more and more as I age, and that is one of the many blessings of getting older. Appreciating the juxtaposition of what was (and can never be again) to what is here and now is a joy, if I let it be. It is all about perspective; some moments you just cannot get back; but what season is here for the taking right now. Expect to be delighted. Push through the chaos and noise to find a treasure that cannot be tweeted or posted.