April wasn’t what I expected

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April is doing what time seems to do as I get older – flying by. It feels like we went from April Fool’s Day to almost May 1 in the blink of an eye. Another thing, it wasn’t the month I expected either.

It’s supposed to be April showers bring May flowers, but for the most part it was bone dry at my house. I was thinking about stuff like time and weather expectations as I headed to yoga class Monday night. I had an interesting conversation with myself as I drove. It was about how quickly the days pass and how things, like the weather, don’t always go as expected.

I was still kind of ruminating about that as we sat getting ready to start class. We always visit for a few minutes, and this week the talk was about pollen and dust from dirt roads – two things that are abundant at my house this time of year.

Then the conversation took a turn when, Jim, one of the students who is also someone with whom I shared childhood, asked me a question.

“Do you remember when the road beside the Jackson’s house was dirt?” he said. “That is the only dirt road I remember when we were kids.”

I did remember that unpaved road but hadn’t thought about it in years. And so the stroll down memory lane began.

“I’d forgotten that road was dirt,” I said. “Remember when we walked that way going to Benton’s Grocery and later to Benton’s Snack Bar when it was added on to one end of the store?”

Jim smiled.

“That’s right; it was part of the store,” he said. “I remember the bait shop in the back of the store and the cold drinks out front.”

We were on a roll now and the memories kept coming.

“You could get a lot of candy for a penny,” I said. “And an orange slush was so good on a hot day.”

“I remember Mother gave us a dime every Friday,” Jim said. “We went straight to Benton’s and Charlie (Jim’s brother who is no longer with us) bought a comic book with his and I bought candy with mine.”

He laughed lost in thoughts of another time and place.

“That’s right,” I said. “They had comic books. I loved comic books – Jughead…”

And so it went one story toppling over another as the other students listened to us recalling days that we thought at the time would last forever.

Finally, I pulled myself back, glanced at the clock and realized it was time to start class. So after another minute of discussing whether kids today enjoy childhood in the same way we did, we put yesterday back in its box.

Later as I drove home, I resumed my one-woman conversation about the passage of time and how recalling the past made me realize something important about the present.

On those long ago days when we walked that dirt road, Jim and I never imagined that some 40 plus years later we would be in a yoga class talking about Benton’s and penny candy. In fact, where I thought I’d be and how I thought my life might turn out is much different from what actually happened.

“Ah, isn’t that the way it goes,” I whispered to my empty car. “We plan, expect and think we have it figured out and then April comes without bringing many showers. Funny, those flowers still have a way of showing up.”

I guess the moral of this story is – time passes, life flows along and most of what we expect comes around much differently than what we imagined, but we still manage to keep growing and hopefully blooming.

So perhaps it’s best to try to enjoy the present moment as fully as we can because it becomes a memory as quickly as April becomes May.