Just last week, while in St. Louis visiting my kids, I had an interesting experience that turns out to be unforgettable. What experience am I talking about? Well…it was Thursday morning, and I had taken my daughter Katlin’s puppy outside in hopes that the tiny, 3 pound, four legged, black and brown, cute, furry bundle of energy would do her business so we could go back inside, especially since it was chilly outside. In fact, it was so chilly I could see my breath! As Katlin’s puppy made her way around the yard, I paced back and forth on the patio trying to stay warm. It was while I was pacing back and forth that I noticed something.
What did I notice?
I noticed a forgotten single branch laying on a weathered picnic table. It looked like someone had plucked the branch from a nearby tree, and for some reason, placed it on the table. Actually, the branch was almost unnoticeable. It’s surprising that I saw it. It was the same faded gray color as the picnic table. It was obvious that the branch had dried out just like the table. Both the table and the branch appeared more white than gray. Time had made its impression on both with the wind, rain, snow and sun. And yet, despite how lifeless the branch looked, life graced it’s presence with a shiny drop of dew. The dew was frozen in place on the branch. And it was at that very moment, when I had noticed the frozen droplet of dew, that I had the thought, “I should take a picture of this.”
Did I take a picture of the branch decorated with the shiny, frozen drop of dew?
I didn’t take a picture. Even though the thought, that I should take a picture, came to my mind more than once, I didn’t act. Instead, I refocused on the puppy, and moved on. The puppy and I walked back inside the warm house and settled in. The puppy ran around the kitchen playing with her dog toys, and I sat at the kitchen table planning out my next blog post. It was about an hour later, when I took the puppy back outside, that I saw that the frozen dew on the branch had melted. In that moment of realization I felt frustrated with myself. I asked myself, “Why didn’t I take that picture?!” I had missed it. As you can tell, I’m still somewhat frustrated with myself that I didn’t take the time to take a picture. I missed it. It’s now gone. I can’t retrieve it. The picture would have been beautiful and symbolic, but the dew melted. It’s gone…
What is the lesson learned about time?
The dew on the branch is symbolic to me of the fact that life is fleeting. Next time we notice something that is important enough that it captures our attention, let’s do our best to capture the moment. Let’s seize it however you we can because at the moment that we notice it, it’s vanishing right in front of us.