Mountain Mama: The Trouble With Tomorrow

get more from BRO

I thought I’d have time.

So I squeeze in one more errand before I give myself permission to play with my son in the forest. I pour over my retirement plan instead of meeting my friend to ride bikes. I put my work life over connecting with friends on a hike.

Not because I don’t want to play with my son or ride bikes or hike. I tell myself a lie, that if I can just get through this next thing, cross one more line off my to-do list, that my schedule will open up and rays of sunshine stream down onto me, that I’ll have the abiding joy that comes from unaccounted time with the people I love. But life doesn’t play out that way.

Mountain MamaOther moms confide the same fallacy of thinking. “I thought I’d have time,” they tell me. “If only I push harder and work more.” We commiserate, wondering when life became so abundant, when time evaporated.

It happens to dads too, buying into the delayed gratification of focusing on career. They think they’ll have time, trading the present for a promise of a future with more freedom only to get the cancer diagnosis or a pink slip.

I spend time with my own dad, folding up his wheelchair and put it in the backseat next to my son’s booster seat when I drive him to doctor’s appointments. I sit with him and listen as he recounts his own version of thinking he’d have time. He lists the places he meant to see, the boats he meant to sail and the dreams he meant to live.

After a long visit, leaving him is bittersweet, not knowing if I will get another chance to visit with him, not knowing if there will be a next time. I drive home to the mountains with the reminder to pause and reconsider my priorities. Everywhere I look spring is revealing herself, flowers blooming, new buds on the trees. The leaves unfurl, revealing a piercing green. It’s a shade so vibrant and full of hope that it makes me burst with possibility. It’s a green that whispers. There’s only right now.

More on this topic


in case you missed it

Get Lost in the Mountains and Waters of the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia

Get lost in the mountains and waters of the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia. Grab your...

Let the Open Road Lead You to Clarksville

Ready for a road trip? Need to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life or just need to find...

Reward Yourself with a Bath County Adventure

If your idea of the perfect outdoor adventure-themed getaway includes a variety activities during the day followed by a well-earned reward, you...

South Carolina’s Old 96 District Is an Unexpected Wonder for Nature Lovers

With everyone rushing to get outside and get some fresh air, many of mother nature’s biggest fans may find themselves looking back...