by Monique Jacques
Teach me to number my days that I might gain a heart of wisdom.
I'm not a fan of extremes. I prefer the temperate seasons. Give me the cool breezes of a spring afternoon or the chill of an autumn morning over summer's beating sun or winter's damp, icy wind.
It's funny how we notice and even crave the change of seasons at their beginnings and ends, but during the bulk of the three months, we simply become accustomed to the weather. The phrase "in the thick of it" comes to my mind often around this time of year, when the spring is a memory, fall is in sight, but late summer heat lingers.
You see, when we're beginning some wonderful adventure, it's exciting, fresh and new. It might be intimidating, but the excitement really outweighs the fear. The end always comes with a sense of accomplishment and resilience, allowing us to look back and see all the ways we've grown.
But in the middle of something—a job, a project, a personal breakdown and reconstruction—it's thick like summer. The air is heavy, weighing on our very breath. We move a little slower. The woods and our planners are overgrown. We can't see past the three feet or days ahead.
In these moments, we have to remember that there is a pasture beyond the trees, crisp mornings after muggy nights. We can't bear the weight alone on those long, heavy days. The people around us may or may not sense the pain we're walking through, so just like we brave the heat for a firefly supper, we must open our burdens to be supported.
This past month was thick, weighted down by restless nights and anxious days. I've leaned on people more heartily than ever before, and they've not crumbled under the weight. That's what encouragement does. That's what loyalty and everyday friendship do. That's family.
Growth happens with every sunrise and set, and our days are numbered. Quiet moments on the patio. Salty air. Donuts in a new city. Sailing the lake with family. Coffee with friends. Long conversation with a trusted aunt. Realizing the kindness of a patriarch who loved you more than you could grasp. It's like water in our hands. Sand in the wind. Simple moments that peek through at us and wink with hope, then move along. Life is a collection of them, wrapped into a few short decades.
We must savor these moments and find refreshment. I don't want to gobble up the sweet or choke down the salty without tasting each bite. When we savor, we aren't left hungry and we don't regret the feast. We are filled.
Monique is a professional storyteller who works with visionaries across the nation. She is passionate about all things beautiful and shares about what it looks like to live life nourished on her blog, Prosciutto & Parchment. Follow along with her adventures, both savory and sweet at prosciuttoandparchment.com.