I now imagine they are lanterns from the past, casting light on what’s ahead

winter,snow,street,street lights, street

Wonderful story by Chris Huntington in the New York Times on Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss:

On regretting missed opportunities:

“I’m constantly aware of lost opportunities. I used to think such lost opportunities were beautiful towns flashing by my train windows, but now I imagine they are lanterns from the past, casting light on what’s ahead.”

On gratitude:

“When you’re 20, five years is a long time, so they act out. I used to be like that. But now I’m two-thirds done, so every day is taking me closer to the door. When I think like that, I can get up in the morning and smile.”

On love and loss:

“Our son is from Ethiopia, where I once saw a dead horse on the side of the road that resembled an abandoned sofa. I asked a friend if we needed to do something about that, and he said the wild dogs would take care of it.  We took our son far away from all of that five years ago, which may seem like a kindness, except it also hurts. I wish our son could know those dirt roads and the way they looked like chocolate milk in the rain, the way the hillsides were a delicate green, the way our driver would not go into the zoo because he was disgusted by the concrete ugliness of the lion cages. I wish my son’s birth parents could see him swimming. He’s such a good swimmer. I wish they could hear him reading books aloud. I wish he could know them. I wish our son could speak Oromo, the language of his birth. Our story, so full of love, is also full of loss.”

On special moments with children:

“I don’t know when I will return to Paris, if ever. I don’t know when or if I will finish my book. I do know I love eating breakfast with my son. My wife wants us to open only one box of cereal at a time to keep the flakes from going stale, but my son and I get up first, so we eat what we want. We like to change. He gives me a thumbs-up whenever I open a new box. In our family, we talk about our days and recount our “best part” and “worst part” at dinnertime. Last week, I was reading a bedtime story with my son and was distracted by the laptop and work waiting on my desk, but I turned to him and said, “We forgot ‘best part, worst part.’ What was the best part of your day?” He pushed his chin into my shoulder and said: “This is, Daddy. This is. He pushed his chin into my shoulder and said: “This is, Daddy. This is. I felt a complete fool. I had to close my eyes for a moment…”

~ Read entire story by Chris Huntington @ Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss

Image Credit: Winterobsession

Comments

  1. This is like a boomerang in my heart this morning – not sure why, but it will keep returning and returning.

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  2. This was a wonderful article. Everything is about perspective…..

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  3. I am a puddle now………….

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  4. I just read the whole story. It’s really great- such an important reminder! My children are growing up so quickly and time moves on…. It is so important to wake up and appreciate the moment.

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  5. beautiful and tears sprang from my eyes at the end with the son’s last comment

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  6. I loved it all…but my favorite excerpt was “on love and loss.” I want to read his book too. 🙂

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  7. I loved the imagery of the lanterns from the past casting light on what’s ahead, and you managed to find what could be described as the perfect image to accompany your post …

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  8. “When the battery in my watch died, I still wore it. There was something about the watch that said: It doesn’t matter what time it is. Think in months. Years. Someone loves you. Where are you going? There are some things you will never do. It doesn’t matter.”

    Moved to tears by Mr. Huntington’s eloquence and the wisdom of his words. Full. Stop.

    Book loaded in reading queue…

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  9. Very moving story. Such insight.

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  10. I just read the whole story, and loved it. The last two paragraphs just get me…

    “When I was a boy, I hated beets. I hope I can protect my son from beets until he’s old enough to hold in the tears. They’re not worth it.

    When the battery in my watch died, I still wore it. There was something about the watch that said: It doesn’t matter what time it is. Think in months. Years. Someone loves you. Where are you going? There are some things you will never do. It doesn’t matter. There is no rush. Be the best prisoner you can be.”

    Thanks for bringing this to us David.

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  11. I was attracted by the photo which is beautiful but the above post specially the last para was very beautiful and heart-touching.

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