The Sunday morning air was cool on my freshly washed cheeks and there was a thin layer of fog on the Redwoods. My body ached with the tension of airplane travel, but I was grateful to be out for a walk with my dad.

We found our way, like we always do, catching each other up on the latest with our work, personal challenges and learning. He shared about the progress of a major leadership project he is in the midst of, and I spoke of my dreams and aspirations for the coming year.

I cherish these moments of deep connection and being with one another. And yet even in my satisfaction, there was a familiar pang of sadness and loss.

I couldn’t help but feel aware of my own adulthood and of his. The slow and steady march of time that allows us both to grow and become, but also requires a perpetual letting go of what once was.

The familiar ache in my heart is ripe with paradox. I feel touched by the grace and gift of these everyday moments as well as the depth of our connection, but I can’t help but also feel the poignancy of how it is simultaneously slipping away.

As the minutes, hours, days or years pass, another special occasion completes, a milestone is reached…and another phase comes to an end. Sometimes the good-byes are until next time, and then inevitably come the final good-byes.

In these closures, I am terrified. And there is also a new moment, a fresh opportunity to receive life in all of her many flavors. Grief, fatigue, joy, love, connection, space, questions, a deep breath—whatever it might be, a new possibility emerges.

It’s a precious gift, these days and years that we get to spend on this planet earth with one another, growing, learning and giving birth to ourselves, over and over again. And yet the very matrix of life is infused with so much heartache and challenge—at times it can feel cruel. The small and sometimes painstaking moments are tiny stitches in the larger masterpiece of our lives.

And so I get up from my writing desk, cheeks stained with tears. I slowly begin to stretch my legs and then I hear the soft notes of the piano as my husband begins to play the familiar John Lennon classic, “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky, imagine all the people living for today…” the gentle melody softly coaxes me back to the preciousness of this moment—I am alive and have the privilege to be here now, living this day. And a deep recognition swells in my heart, for this moment—it is more than enough.