Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For Keeps

Sometimes you find yourself in a moment that seems to stand still for you, just long enough for you to be aware that this is a moment you will keep forever. You will never forget.
Sometimes these moments are little happenings.... nothing monumental. But something in it stirs you and coaxes you to imprint it into memory.

There we were, a week ago.... my mom, my dad and I, standing next to a deep slow moving stream. We came upon it by accident. It was a beautiful little spot, and as we gazed into the water, as if in a trance by the gentle current, my mom told me how she loves how the leaves, the ones that are submerged, how they tumble and turn underwater as they move downstream.

And all of a sudden, a new universe appeared before my eyes. Like a child seeing something for the first time. I have watched leaves float along the surface, but under the water...this was new. Well, it was new to my ever-increasing awareness of things. I stood there, mesmerized by these little leaves doing slow graceful somersaults deep down in the cold clear flow.

And then, disturbing the peace, was the child inside my dad as he launched a small stray tree trunk into the flow. He wanted to see how far it would go. Not very. It lodged itself between a tree and a rock wall on the far side, where it probably still remains. But inside myself, I laughed at this grown man, still curious and childlike at heart. Remnants of the little boy he used to be.

All three of us were briefly held captive by this little stream. We stayed for quite some time, observing and playing with the water as we watched for salmon, as rare a sight that day as a meteor in the night sky. And we gasped when we did see one large and lonely fish, resting in the slower pockets of the stream. And I gasped again as I caught a glimpse of these mushrooms growing on a floating log!

It was this quiet, uneventful afternoon....this fleeting fragment of time next to a stream that I won't forget. I felt such gratitude, to be with my family, to feel a sort of unity in our experience of that day. I felt loved and I felt loving. And all felt well in the world.

One of my dear friends just lost his father. And when he spoke to me of his final moments with his dad, one thing became very clear... the only important thing, all that really matters in the end is the love you share between those closest to you. I carried that in my heart that day as I walked with my parents. I am so grateful they are here with me, and that we can share these simple, unassuming moments like this together.

Yes. This is a day I will keep forever.


  1. Such a beautiful post Jaime! And oh so true. You will remember this beautiful day forever. It's always the little moments we remember with those we love.

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this story friend!
    xo Catherine

  2. this was beautiful jamie and yes, as our parents age, it's such a miracle to spend time with them. to be friends with them. to understand them better than we ever have before......

    and i fell in love with a mushroom, too....it's yesterday's post :)

  3. What an amazing post. Love that you captured the moment in words and with a gorgeous picture, and then shared it with all of us. Thank you for that.

    Sounds like a magical afternoon. Glad you all had your kid goggles on.


  4. Lovely sister:
    I wish I could have been there to spend some time with our family. Beautiful post. It's always amazing to see how the two of us can see the world through such different eyes, even though we grew up under the same roof. I envy your ability to take such strong memories by choice... it's always been my experience that my long term memory has a way of pushing it's own shutter release. Many times I can remember thinking "I want to remember this forever", but can't remember what it was that I was trying to remember. it's why I have such a hard time buying into free will. I love you, and your ability to continually surprise me.


  5. what a beautiful tender sweet moment you shared with us. times like that are oh so special with our parents and it's great that you saw to cherish such a simple moment that way.

  6. What a beautiful post..and testament to being grateful for the moment and all who we have in our lives today. And - what a stunning image. Such gorgeous color!!!

  7. Some think that Faeries live under enchanted mushrooms - as you've captured here. I personally believe that magic shows up in many different ways ~ and the moment in time that you've chosen to share with us here, is proof of that.

    Thank you!

  8. a day of forever. true magic. thank you for taking us with you. and do the leaves tumble & turn underwater in the same way they tumble & turn in the air? i will be looking for a stram to find out.


  9. A timely post, Jamie, since my parents will arrive soon for a month long visit. A nice reminder to appreciate every moment.
    Oh, and the photo, gorgeous!

  10. Such a beautiful post, from start to finish. Sometimes the best memories are the simplest pleasures of time spent with family and this sounds like a magical moment. Gorgeous photo!!

  11. beautiful reminder...tomorrow is most definitely not promised so it is so important to live in the life we have right now and enjoy it.

  12. Those moments sound so full of sweetness.

    So many of my favorite memories are so simple.

    I do not remember seeing leaves tumbling underwater. Now I am determined to find a stream and investigate.

  13. Oh, Jaime. I can't tell you how grateful I am that you had this day. My sister-in-law lost her father yesterday. My heart has been aching and aching for her, for them all. I am reminded by her and by you that the things that really matter are love and time. Love and time.

    And, I love you, my friend. I do.

  14. Beautiful! I laughed at this because my Dad is just the same. No matter where are what we are doing he reverts to a curious 12 year old!

    Thank you for reminding me to look at things like I know you do - delightfully.


  15. I have found that it is those quiet moments and days that stick with me the longest. I love to go places, see and do things, get out in the world--but in the end, it is the still moments of beauty that mean the most to me. Swimming in the Colombia River at sunset; lying on the top of a mountain holding hands with my husband, both of us looking up at the blue sky and not speaking a word... It does sound like a perfect day, and I'm glad it will remain with you.

  16. What a special moment. Nature and Family. I enjoy your posts and beautiful! photos!