This is definitely way too long a piece of someone else's writing for me to post here, but as it is such an exemplary expression of where my head so often is in the context and content of my days- I'm posting it anyway. It is an exerpt from Ben Hewitt's recent book, HOME GROWN: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World.
"In my life I have seen, time and time again, how things that were within my reach move beyond it. I think about the people I have cared for who have died or simply moved or drifted away. I think about the passing phases of my children, how Fin no longer wants to hold hands the way he used to, how I can no longer hoist either of them atop my shoulders at will. I try to remember the final hand hold, the final shoulder ride. But I cannot.
Likewise, I have seen how things I could never have imagined needing have become things I can hardly imagine doing without, and to live with the knowledge of their eventual departure is to live in harmony with the grief their leaving will impart. Sometimes I think of these things as birds landing on a branch. They perch for awhile and then, for reasons known only to them, take flight again.
Occasionally, I am visited by a sense of nostalgia, not for an earlier era or for some past event but for the future nostalgia I know I will feel for now. I suspect that is what I am feeling in those moments I want time to stop: the storage of the present experience for a future recalling.... I know it is not merely my memory that is absorbing these small moments. It is my emotional core. It is my character. It is my spirit. It is everything that makes me me, and in the flickering seconds when I feel the influence of these moments on the very core of how I think and feel and perceive the world around me, I have this sense of being held in the palm of this place. Of here and now."
I came to yoga long before I came to parenting. It is hard to separate out the 2 or have any real sense of the sort of parent I would have become had I not already been steeping in the teachings. Yoga takes such a broad view of most things and parenting on the other hand is more often than not a down and dirty moment to moment occupation. And yet it has never wholly been that for me. I have brought that wide view across into this realm and in so doing have lived alongside the nostalgia for now that Ben so perfectly describes. I have often said that I am not the sort of parent who is in any kind of hurry for my kids to get bigger, easier, more independent, less needy. I never have because I always could feel the inevitability of just that. Parenting is a joyful task no doubt. But is it is also a soul rendering heart breaker more minutes out of each day than I care to count. It is hard for me to imagine anything else that is so all consuming in the moment and yet, and yet is the number one most giant of giants, path of letting go.
Oh yes. Practice. Practice is that as well.