I write these words after enjoying a 2 mile walk on a 50-degree sunny February day in Chicagoland. Not only is the sun out, there is not a cloud in the sky giving way to various shades of blue not seen in months around here.
My walk reminded me of precious memories as a child. I can remember countless days with friends —happy times no doubt — playing until the last crisp of daylight remained. Or, as was the case in the fall months, into the beginning darkness of night. Given modernity, and the constant presence of technology, I smile inwardly remembering there was not long ago a time where my mom could yell (not text) out the front door and somehow I would hear her call to get my butt home on the double. I confess missing the simplicity in that.
I also remember having a distinct feeling, maybe even longing, in those moments that those days would not end. Surely you can relate? These often happened at my friend Pete’s house. We’d play outside all day —football, basketball, games we would make up — and as the daylight waned, I’d long for it not to. I also remember a night when his dad, my dentist and second father-figure of sorts, was driving us to baseball practice and overheard all of us in the back of the car talking about growing up. Nick wanted to be an adult already. I, on the other hand, somehow had the wisdom to say out loud that I was in no hurry. Pete’s dad chimed in at this point and told us that I was right and that we should not be in such a hurry to grow up.
For reasons I cannot explain, I have been thinking a lot about that occurrence the last month or so. Probably because one of my focuses this year has been on “ruthlessly eliminating hurry” in my life, which has become an increasingly difficult challenge while traversing the reality of middle-age. Probably also because I went to the dentist in January and I always think of my old dentist this time of year because pancreatic cancer stole him from us too soon. Regardless of the reason, however, the reality is that life is often filled with waning daylight, and moments you would give more than you have to revisit.
The darkness of winter has this effect, doesn’t it?
But the beauty of 50-degree days in February is that there are actually 50-degree days in February! This goes for all days worth hanging on to. The longing for them to stay point to their worth, for many days are not worth longing for! In fact, many in February are not...
At this point you might be equally wondering whether I have gone off the reservation with this post and whether I am depressed. So here is the wrap up, the business takeaway, and the hope.
Every season will come and go. As this day comes to a close, I will get one sleep closer to the reality of two team members retiring this week. Waning daylight, indeed.
Like 50-degree days, both of these teammates are worth celebrating. One in particular made a lasting impact in my life through her guidance, and often patience, with me when I was a young sales guy. The other positively impacted our culture by showing up every day with a smile, and doing whatever was asked. Like a precious 50-degree day in February, I cannot adequately count the blessings both of these teammates leave us with. The business takeaway here is to celebrate each moment with the team you have because whether you realize it or not, waning daylight is all around you.
And I would be lying if I said I was not trying to grasp it just a little longer.
But like 50-degree February days, you cannot grasp waning daylight. So, here is the hope. The reason this post should not be read in a depressing manner is because of the hope that outlives hours, days, seasons, careers, and even light. As the prophet Isaiah wrote long ago, “Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.” Isaiah 60:20