Impermanent Permanence

©Shannon Fagan via

Buying the home where, God-willing, you plan to spend the rest of your days. Having the kids who consume and take and fill every crevice of your being. Coming face to face with what is technically middle age. These things make you take stock of your life and choices, and the moments that once seemed infinite are suddenly so keenly finite.  

 You make the wills and plans for if and when you leave here. It is not if; it is when. You hold tiny hands, put down phone screens, and search for every piece of today that will be just the tiniest bit different tomorrow.  

Thinking about the permanent things in life–the final choices–the long-term home, the life partner, these beautiful kids have a way of making you think of the greater impermanence. And the impermanence takes my breath away.  

I have loved IPAs for much of my twenties and thirties. But the desire to lose control of myself is losing its grip on me. I love to go for a run or garden, work up a good sweat, and then take a long swig from a water bottle. Then, feel a cold shower and cool, clean sheets. I want to feel everything. I want to be awake and alive and in awe of everything. These beautiful, mundane things. These are moments of life, this very brief life, that I think God wanted us to consume. To grow the vegetables in the dirt and feel mud squelch in your toes with your kids. Pedal hard and fast up a hill, and then take your feet off the pedals as you fly down with wind in your hair. These are my earth moments. My impermanent permanence. What would I do with one more day?

I would smell every inch of my babies, their hair that needs washed and their syrupy sweet breath. I would hold their little hands, one still dimpled and one with dirty fingernails. I would read a book on the screened-in porch in the morning rain. I would find rollie-pollies and leaves for a perfect bug-catcher home. I would run hard and fast up a hill, lungs on fire and sweat on my brow. Run until I can’t run anymore, and then stop at the top, hands on my knees, and drink in gulps of air. I would jump in a pool with reckless abandon. Watch my kids’ eyes as they see their own mom as a kid. I would walk to dinner, pulling a wagon.   I would read stories and tuck my babies in their beds, thanking God for their little lives. I would retreat to the porch with my husband, where we would laugh under market lights.  

I would live this exact life, whispering thank you to God a million times. Today, I lived my perfect moments of impermanent permanence, and I could quite literally never say thank you enough. 


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