Are you the Grasshopper or the Ant?
As the old fable shares, some of us are like the Grasshopper, living and loving the moment, without a care (or a plan) for the future. Others tend to be more like the Ant, perhaps slaving away at work, saving their pennies, never taking a trip, or a moment to just enjoy. The ideal is a wonderful balance of both -right? Then whatever happens we are enjoying the moment, yet also prepared for the future. Well, I’m quite the industrious Ant, and need the reminder sometimes to ‘live in the moment’ –take that trip, drink that special wine, stay out late one night and be tired for work—it is what life is all about!
One lovely summer night, I was home, in soft comfy pajamas and my soft comfy bathroom in my soft comfy bed (sensing a trend here?). I was doing a planned recovery from some surgery, and felt fine, but was tired. My oldest daughter Julianne popped into my room almost ‘vibrating’ with excitement. She said “Mom, will you come with me on an adventure?”. As mom’s around the world know, I need to be careful now before I’m in over my head. I try to ask questions, but she isn’t disclosing any information. I will need to make the decision on faith.
I home schooled my three children for 16 years, so everything I did with them had some strategic thought regarding the ‘philosophy’ behind it such as “action is a lesson in perseverance, or a lesson when to ‘seize the day’. When the kids were young, I had the philosophy of always keeping things ‘fun’. I am a very serious and industrious person and I know I can tend to be ‘not fun’. It was a conscious decision on my part to ensure that my kids were raised that life is fun, the ups, the downs, the misadventures; all of it! When we had a place to go, I would say “Hey Kids, let’s go on an adventure!” We always found a way to have fun whether it was a fun adventure (such as a hike or beach trip) or really a not so fun obligation (such as the doctor). Also, this was my #1 answer when we got lost, which unfortunately did happen at least once a month! Please note, I am speaking of pre-smart phone times, when my navigation tools were signage, my sense of direction (which is spotty at best), and my trusty Hagstrom map, as we went all over the tri-state area on field trips. Now you have the backstory for why Julianne is posing this question to me. She is ‘flipping the script’ on me –as I had been in bed for a week recovering from surgery, and hadn’t been out of the house all that time. She has a big heart and a caring personality and loves to share her joys with others. Today it was my turn to receive that gift.
Take a moment to put yourself in my comfy setting: what would you do? You are in bed, setting in early because you are tired. It is dusky, yet balmy. You have no idea what the plan is at all, other than you are supposed to get in the car and trust. Will it be a YES or a NO?
Well, I said YES!! She drove me with the top down on her little convertible which runs a bit loud. She yells over the engine noise, “Isn’t this grand Mom? The sky, the warm the air flowing through our hair?” “Oh yes, fabulous dear” I yell back as I’m pulling hair out of my mouth and holding on to the door (Yes, I’m a nervous-nelly and trying to hide it, as she is a new driver and this car is so small!). We end up in a special parking place she has visited often at the Easton Reservoir on Center Street. Center Street runs through a large reservoir, so there is a view on both sides of the street. We get out and wander closer and watch the moon rise. We chat quietly as the atmosphere at the reservoir gave us a bit of reverence and awe at the beauty of God’s nature. We can’t hear cars, or see houses and light, even though both are very nearby. We can hear night bugs and frogs sharing their evening song. We saw a black shape that was a bird flying low and we are excitedly whispering thinking it might have been the crane type bird we know nests there. We also noticed the bats and I got fascinated by trying to actually ‘see’ them. I wasn’t able to do so, they fly extremely fast and in unexpected patterns, so while you know they are flitting about in the increasingly dusky sky, you can’t really see an individual bat. There was a special moon this evening. I have no idea if it was super, blood, blue, harvest, or just summer moon. I do know it was a beautiful moon and a beautiful moment with my child.
After a bit, we headed out and she showed me a sunflower field on a side street I hadn’t visited yet. Then we passed a ‘honor farm’ and stopped. We picked out a couple farm tomatoes and several large sunflowers and put the cash in the coffee can. I am marveling at how wonderful it is that there is an honor farm with a coffee can, with money in it, by the side of the road, in this day and age. So cool.
What a magical adventure! What a special moment with my daughter. I am so glad I said yes. I hope to always say yes, and create memories I can cherish. More importantly, my daughter will remember the moment long after I’m gone.
PICTURE CREDITS: Quote is from Facebook, Moon is from Smithsonian, My daughter and I circa 2015, no filters.