Only Yesterday

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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Only Yesterday As my brother and I sat on the creaky wooden pew, I realized that life is brief. Older people always tell us to enjoy life, and that you will be seventy before you know it. Many of us cannot comprehend what it all means, until we learn it on our own. A good example is this; as young teenagers we wait so long for our driver's license, it takes years and seems to be such a distant objective. When the time comes, it seems that it has only been a couple months wait. The point I am trying to make is that life is short in the sense that anticipation can take years, but looking back takes only a few minutes at the most.

I went home on the weekend of September the twenty-eighth. This time in northern Michigan is the most beautiful of all seasons. All of the leaves change to red, orange, brown, and gold.

The animals, which inhabit the land, scurry through the leaf bedded woods, looking for pieces of food before they are swept away by the windy winter snow. My cousin Phillip is getting married, a wonderful time of year for such an occasion. He stands in the front of the small stone church. By the look in his eyes, you can tell he is nervous, yet still happy. His younger sister stands at the podium sobbing over the speech she has chosen to give. To a stranger these words may have sounded awful, but to family her actions and words were like music that someone close could only comprehend. Phil's large hands sweat profusely and it is amusing to see such a well-built man's face turn red. The church is small, it holds perhaps sixty people and its stone foundation holds our family well. It still resembles the styles of the late 1800's and although it is small it means so much to our family, it is not only our place of worship but also our history.

The pastor reads some passages from the ragged white bible, which looks to be as old as the church itself. As he reads I look at my cousin, I look at my father, and then my grandpa. I realize how short life is. All of these people crammed in this elegant stone building are here because of grandpa and grandma. They are the roots of this beautiful tree, and to them it was only yesterday that they met. As the bride and groom walk slowly down the miniature aisle and outside down the patched cement stairway, they start their journey. A long and tedious journey that in time will seem like only yesterday. These two will plant their own tree, and someday will watch their grandchildren get married here in St. Johns church.

We need to enjoy these days of our youth and every other day after that as they come, not as they pass. No one can guarantee that you will live ten more years or ten more minutes, so cherish the "now". Take time to enjoy your life. Memories have no meaning if you don't make them. Some day soon our lives will seem like only yesterday, so make the best of today and reminisce on yesterday's happenings tomorrow.