Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

view 21 :: stand and stare

No Time to Stand and Stare

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

~ W.H. Davies

As 2009 ends and 2010 begins, I thought I would stop and reflect – not just on the past year, but on ten years. It’s easy to get bogged down in day-to-day stresses and to always be striving for the next thing. But before moving to the next thing, it’s important to stop and acknowledge all that has happened over the course of this extraordinary decade.

Over the past ten years:

  • I lived in five different cities and moved nine times.
  • I graduated college and moved across the country three days later.
  • I made some of the closest friends I will ever have.
  • I endured many a heart break, dated some duds, found the love of my life, and became a wife.
  • I said goodbye to family members who passed on and welcomed a new family into my life.
  • I did 3,578,237 loads of laundry, washed 74,389 dishes, cleaned the toilet 3,492 times, and nursed 17 colds.
  • I lost 25 pounds and gained 30. (Rinse, repeat.)
  • I was an actress, a bookseller, a receptionist, a tarot card seller, a waitress, a grad student, a drama teacher, a manager, a blogger, a writer, an artist, a photographer, a butcher, a baker, a candle stick maker.

So what’s next? Only time will tell. Looking at this list, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment and exhaustion. I’ve realized that life is not about the accomplishments. It is about connection. It is about shared moments, shared meals, and shared laughs with the people I love. As I move into the next decade, I want to focus on that. I want more of that.

But for now, I think I will just stand and stare. Join me, won’t you?

 Listen: Idle Moments by Jason Parker Quartet


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