It seems like recently, we've been running at full capacity. Not in a bad way, mind you - I feel like the last 6 months have been some of the best yet. Jack and Caroline are marvelous, the boy-to-be is getting bigger, we are through winter and looking to spring. But with a new job for Matilda and the daily grind for Doc, and activities for the kids and holiday travel and all the other things that seem to be required to keep our heads above water, the carpet is starting to wear a little thin.
The other night, we were sitting on the couch after the kids went down, and ended up looking through all of our pictures from 2010 (which reminds me, I still need to make the album for 2011 - that used to be a New Year's Eve tradition, and now it is more like President's day). But what was amazing was to see how much we had been through. Graduation, pregnancy, melanoma, the bar exam, a version, starting two new jobs, getting to know Caroline - lots of stuff going on. But an incredible amount of fun-looking memories in there as well, and in the end a lingering realization of just how lucky we are.
What struck me the next day, driving to work, was how important that short periof of reflection was. It cast the next few days - the ups, the downs, chronos and kairos - all in a new light. Much like hiking in the Appalachians, you just don't have any real appreciation for where you are or how far you have come. And you climb and climb, dodging roots and hopping boulders and trying to see the skyline break through the trees ahead. And then you get to one of those breaks in the dense green, and instead of an amazing vista out in front of you, you look back. Through the gap, out over the incredible valley below, and the long wrinkled ascent. You have a new respect, a new thankfulness for all those vista-less steps, and a new tolerance for the closed-in trail.