Do you remember as a child, plunging your chubby hand into a sweetie bag only to find you’d already eaten all its yummy contents and thinking ‘is that all there is?’
I sometimes cast my mind back to when I first married. We made vows and promised to love and support each other for the rest of our lives. Loves young dream; life was wonderful during the honeymoon years. But then the memories of the good wishes and confetti faded; what happened to our vision of the future? ‘Is that all there is?’ I asked my wife. Then overnight everything changed. We were expecting our first child.
When he was born we felt our family was complete. But our lives were different. We were woken up during the night, our house became a tip! Every spare minute of the day was taken up by playing, feeding, and clearing up. I remember holding this tiny thing in one hand, looking around at all the chaos and thinking ‘is that all it is?’ There’s nothing of him. How can something so small bring so much utter joy into our lives? But it did, and our marriage was richer for it.
We had a little garden and I was determined to provide for us. I had a go at growing a few vegetables. One sunny afternoon I proudly ran into the kitchen holding in one hand a few green beans and in the other a six or seven misshapen tomatoes. ‘Is that all there is?’ my wife asked. And with every year, the question was asked with increasing regularity. Everything I did fell short of her expectations. Then it was my turn to ask; ‘is that all there is?’
Now things have changed. I’m in the autumn of my life and I only have myself to please. Throughout my life my vision of the future has constantly changed with each unexpected twist and turn. I look around at my modest apartment and think back to the homes I’ve owned in the past. Memories and treasures I no longer have room for have long ago been discarded. Now my world is represented by a few photos and a shelf or two of books. ‘Is that all there is?’ I ask myself. But then I notice the box of chocolates on the table beside me; a gift from my daughter on Father’s Day. It’s half full and I’m reminded that my life is far from half empty. During my life I've been blessed with so many gifts.I think about my family, my parents, my kids and my grandkids. I gaze from my window at the park opposite my home. There are ducks and swans swimming around in search of bread thrown into the water by excited children. I can see young lads kicking footballs, giggling girls comparing texts, joggers puffing and panting, and fathers desperately trying to launch colourful kites into the blue sky to impress their kids. And then I watch the sun go down sending a cosy orange glow into my room. If that’s all there is, then it’s more than enough for me.
This week the prompt at Carry On Tuesday is 'Is that all there is?' and the final topic on Writers Island is 'Vision of the future'. SundayScribblings asks us to ponder on 'Gifts'