Slow down and enjoy the now

I originally wrote this column on the last Monday evening in May. I was going to recycle it completely until I reread it and realized a few things were worth revisiting.
The apple blossoms aren’t on the breeze anymore. Back then, the scent of the new blooms drifted on the wind pleasing my nose.
I still hear the moan of the lawn tractor belonging to my neighbour. The growing madness grows on. We all are in the timing race to catch the next cut on just the right day, at just the right length, and before the rain.
At the end of May, my flower bed at the back door was teeming with all manner of colourful flowers, thanks to my eight-year-old grandson, Charlie, who chose all the red, pink, and orange ones on our trip to the local nursery–and also instructed me on how to plant: “Straight in a row, Granny.”
Today I look upon my flower bed and see sheared off plants, nibbled to their ankles by a deer. Petunias, strawberries, portulaca, and, yes, even marigold blossoms and the pungent herb rosemary weren’t spared.
Despite my deer-loathing disposition right now, there’s still only one creature I’d like to catapult into the lava-spewing Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. I say that as I see a large black spider running at top speed towards my dangling foot.
I stop typing, it stops running. I move my foot, it jousts to the left. I stomp my foot, it runs towards me like a steak dinner, then drops out of sight under the area rug.
Yet it’s not that hairy little arachnid or the wolf spider that lives in my basement, nor the pesky squirrel that continues its valiant attempts to get into my garage. Nor is it the geese and goslings that “poop”-ulate my backyard.
My nemesis remains the oily-skinned, nocturnal, buck-toothed beaver. I thought it was kind of cute the other day when I stood watching him swim out of the creek, loaf up onto shore at my neighbour’s place, and haul away branches from a downed tree.
It was all fun and games until I looked around my own domain and spotted a grandiose patch of bark missing off one of my lovelies. On closer examination, I realize I’ve been bark robbed, with buck-toothed etchings in the meat of the tree and a trail of shavings.
Yet as much as I would like to stake out a blind at twilight with my slingshot and pop Mr. Beaver as he swims by, Father Time beckons me to choose otherwise.
At the end of May, I counted 27 sunsets to come before the longest day of year. Alas, those sunsets passed over me like a Learjet because I was too busy squinting at the creek at dusk.
Let’s remember that as we tag one another in the rat race of life, time does not wait and the sunsets we miss are sunsets we miss.
Slow down and enjoy the now.

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