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But for Now

Some fine day when we go walking
We’ll take time for idle talking
Sharing every feeling as we watch each other smile
I’ll hold your hand you’ll hold my hand
We’ll say things we never had planned
Then we’ll get to know each other in a little while
But for now let me say I love you
Later on there’ll be time for so much more
But for now meaning now and forever
Let me kiss you my darling then once more
— Jamie Cullum/Bob Dorough, But for Now

The bird feeders were irresponsibly empty yesterday, distracted by life as I’d been, what with elections and wars and billionaires behaving badly (another reason to not win the lottery). I’d simply let them run empty. When such things happen the birds move on to the neighbor’s feeders, or pick through the fallen leaves for leftovers. Birds deal in the reality of the moment—there’s either food or there isn’t, and act accordingly. “Since it is what it is, what will we do with it?“, they stoically chirped and got on with their collective now. When the feeders were full they returned in earnest, and the cycle repeated once again. I suppose we can learn a thing or two from birds.

There’s something about November that demands intense focus on immediacy. Lyrical phrases like “these are the days”, “this magic moment”, and “but for now” drift into my head and prompt reflection. Reflection is lovely, but the feeders and fallen leaves remind me that there’s work to be done. This blog might be to blame for making me so very attentive to the business at hand, but then again, it’s just a way to share what was whispering in my ear all along. Is it itself a distraction, or a way to sort through the progress of becoming something more?

Perhaps, the birds suggest, we think too much and do too little. We shouldn’t relinquish our magic moment but get straight to the point and say and do what must be done. Later, maybe when we actually become what we’re becoming, there’ll be time for so much more. Life isn’t about its little distractions but a sum of what we produce in our days. For we aren’t just feeding birds here, are we?

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