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Impermanence


Check out thisTabebuia to the left, a tree that grows almost everywhere in our neighborhood. We snapped this picture just a few days ago.

During this time of the year, when the leaves of oaks and elms, maples and willows are popping with nearly every hue of green imaginable, when the bougainvilleas, azaleas and irises seem to be vying for attention, I think of the first and last lines of a poem by Robert Frost: "Nature's first green is gold/Her hardest hue to hold...for nothing gold can stay."


I recently read that in 1859, before he was president, before he suffered through that harrowing train ride to Washington on his way to office where many thought he would be killed before he arrived, before the Union tore itself to pieces and around 750,000 people died in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Wisconsin State Fair. The topic of the speech was supposed to be agriculture, but Lincoln decided to go a little deeper.


He told the story of a king who asked his wisest philosophers to provide for him a sentence that would be not just true in each and every situation, but always worth hearing.

“They presented him the words,” Lincoln said,'And this, too, shall pass away.'" How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride!—how consoling in the depths of affliction!And this, too, shall pass away.’”

Did Lincoln know that he had less than six years left to live, with which to do his work, before he too would pass away?


I have to tell you that the meaning behind this blog post is not to "grab the gold" before it goes, but to know that this moment can never be grabbed, bottled nor chained down. But how GRATEFUL I am for memories and pictures.