A series of firsts and lasts

Last Friday I drove past my favorite pasture on Adobe Road; a lush grassland with a water trough near the road, where everyday I would see one solitary sheep among a herd of cows. Amber first pointed this out to me months ago, and so every morning and afternoon on my drive, I would look out my window and smile.

My life has shifted about an hour southeast, and the sheep is just one of several things I’ll miss; but for every thing I miss, new things will replace the lost. I’ve probably had my last midnight bike ride with the roommates, and last spontaneous gathering at Sanns Lane, and last Saturday morning at the Flying Goat, but I’ve tried to not get overly upset about the lasts and think more about the firsts.

We as humans measure time by our lives, our moments, by our firsts and lasts. Monumental occurrences in our lives that can only happen once: the first day of school, first kiss, first car, first job. And then conversely, the lasts: last day of school, last love, last day at home, last day of work. Scientifically speaking, the sun, stars, clocks and calendars, measures time, but we are probably the only species to measure time by moments. “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” says T.S Eliot in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” There’s too much monotony measuring out life with a coffee spoon. What an enormous task when so little is held in a coffee spoon; why not heaping tablespoons, or cupfuls?

A few years ago, the plans that I had then are not the ones I’ve ended up doing. Every day we have moments that are worth seizing, worth remembering, worth measuring – some larger than others, but how boring would life be if we didn’t?

All of the firsts that are ahead of me are because I scooped bucketful’s of opportunities instead of getting stuck chipping away at prospects with a spoon.

I cannot recall what I wore on Tuesday or what I ate on Wednesday, but I can tell you what Amber was wearing when we first met; I can tell you where we shared our first kiss; and I can tell you how it felt to feel love again after years of feeling like I had already experienced my last. And that is memory. Love is memory. The ability to see yourself through the eyes of another, to make memories and know the details that no one else can or ever will know; to smile every time you drive past a pasture and see a single, solitary sheep among a herd of cows. And smile.

**The first meals in a new house are often take-out. Once we got the kitchen in order, it was mostly a put-it-together-with-what-you-got sort of meal. An acorn squash made the move, along with some tortillas, cilantro and a frozen Tupperware of red chile enchilada sauce. Around the corner to the market to get a can of black beans, cheese and an avocado and dinner is on the table in 45 minutes or less. Slice the acorn squash in half, remove seeds and roast at 425 until flesh can be scooped out with a spoon. Using the burner on your oven, lightly scorch each side of the tortillas. Pour a little bit of enchilada sauce into 8×8 pan and one by one, add tortilla and fill with beans, squash and cheese. Sprinkle a little bit of cumin and chili powder and roll. Once all are rolled, pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese. Bake at 350 until warmed through. Garnish with cilantro, avocado, chopped green onions or any variety of toppings that made the move with you.**


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