Only Momentary

Last week it snowed where I was. Quite heavily overnight. Perhaps four inches. Some of which accumulated on the trees, dressing them in a way that I find spectacularly beautiful. I felt a certain awe that reminded me of much childhood and young adult snow from my earlier life in Canada. Last week, by nightfall, most of the snow on the trees in the picture above had melted away, kissed by the sun. That beauty wasn’t meant to be permanent, though I suppose the melting away is a kind of beauty too.

Learning about the ways that life experience is momentary is significant for many of us. In its richest ways, this learning is about a non-permanence. Things change. Relationships. Families. Communities. Emotions. Orientations. Because it’s what is meant to happen. We appear as creatures of permanence, individually and in groups. Yet we are creatures changing all of the time, including the change that is regenerating skin cells to render us with “new skin” every 27 days.

I have known some of these times of non-permanence as loss. I have known some of these as change and evolution. I have not known some of these times at all, unaware — like 27 days of regenerated and sloughed skin.

A while back, thinking of such things, I wrote the poem below. I was trying to feel and understand a certain kind of seduction in the “forever” part of things. I was noticing how I wanted to feel the seduction for comfort, yet at the same time, knowing from a deeper place, that life and the contexts in which we live are much more momentary.

Enjoy. And to welcome some reflection on “momentaryness.”


Only Momentary

This place
is only a stopping ground,
attractive for its illusion
of permanence
and stability.

This place
is most lasting
in the awareness
that it is
only momentary.

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