beauty that penetrates

I can tell that fall is officially here because I'm catching sunrises again along with my morning coffee. The sky outside my window is a marbled pink-purple. I'm at once sad that Amelia's missing it and thankful that she's still asleep. Just last night I was reading her a book that her auntie gave her called "God Thinks You're Wonderful" by Max Lucado, and it reminded me about how often I fail to receive the beauty of nature as a gift. It's not that I don't notice it or enjoy it, but receiving it is something distinct. It reminds me of something my friend Dani once said, referring to my husband. "When he says kind things, try not to let it just roll off your back like water. Try to let it sink in and penetrate." That's how I am about beauty sometimes, spectating it but letting it run right off my back.

But there's got to be something between that and trying to hold onto or possess it. The one area I've been really trying to soak up is Amelia's beauty and my profound love for her. I hold her, gaze at her for so many moments every day, wishing that I could remember later just how she looks now, and just how happy I am to be with her. But it feels like trying to catch morning mist in a butterfly net. Every day she's different, the girl I put to bed each night not quite the same one who wakes the next morning. And my memory is terrible, my past a favorite blanket with more holes than recollections. Any given moment isn't a thing to be possessed, despite all of our efforts with scrapbooks and cameras and video recorders.

Perhaps what's in between is to be present this moment and to let myself be changed. I may not be able to recall this day when I'm sixty or eighty, but if I'm really in it, letting it sink in and penetrate, perhaps I'll end up a different person because of it.