I'm sitting alone outside in the quiet of the night, listening to the night sounds of God's creation: crickets and tree frogs making whatever sounds it is they make, the rustling of leaves as they fall to the ground as the wind blows. I'm reflecting on cool, fall nights, much like this one, over the past 35 years of my life.
Thinking back on the teenage years, I'm reminded of football games, bonfires, mud riding in the dark (yes, I'm one of those!), and sitting next to Mark for the first time on a hayride. Life was full of promise and expectation, and a new adventure was always just around the corner.
In my early 20s, many nights like this were spent leaving college classes, headed home to my new husband, where we'd sometimes sit outside and just enjoy being together. That first fall as a married couple was funny in so many ways. We had to call on our parents a lot, including learning how to use the floor furnace to heat our tiny home. Life was fast-paced, and still held lots of promises and expectations.
By my mid-to-late 20s, well...I just don't remember much about those days. I'm pretty sure most nights were spent changing diapers, feeding babies, and looking forward to going to bed so I could get a few hours of sleep. Life was just a hazy, sleep-deprived blur.
On nights like this in my early 30s, we started looking forward to dressing up the kids for trick-or-treating. We sometimes took them football games. And moments outside with my husband were secretly stolen after all three girls were in bed. We would sit on the swing and try to figure out how things had become so difficult between us. Life was a little scary, no longer full of promise, and adventure was not on our agenda.
As of this past Saturday, I am officially in my mid-30s. I'm looking forward to more nights like this. Quiet. Calm. Listening to the night sounds of the world around me. Life has once again become adventurous. We're making plans. At the same time, it's somewhat uneventful. I'm okay with that. These moments still have to be stolen when the girls have gone to bed, but I'm okay with that too.
Reflecting on my life and the 35 years God has been faithful to me, on many nights just like this, is good for the soul.