I love those moments when life doubles back on itself and, just for a second, you can look at your life as though you are something quite apart from it. You see things as they are. You see what has become.
It happens with extreme randomness. Like, just yesterday, I was chatting on the phone to my sister. We hadn't spoken for a week or two (it felt like months) and so there was much to catch up on. While she talked, my sister had set up her two little kids with the hose. They were spraying each other and roaring with laughter, and my nephew was coming out with all these amazing words I hadn't even known he could say. As is the way with small people, things turned messy when someone got water in their eyes, and my sister broke away from the conversation to resolve the dilemma. Then it happened. I suddenly thought: my sister is a mother. And it was amazing. Of course, I've known she was a mother ever since she had her little girl two and a half years ago. But I realised it then.
It happened again this morning. I was tidying up around the house and found three small plastic boats -- one red, one yellow, and one blue -- stacked on the ledge of the bath. They were remnants from when my niece and nephew were here last. My niece and nephew, I thought. I have a niece and nephew.
And then, last week while we were in WA, my sister and I took a little road trip north to spend the evening in our old hometown. My brother and his girlfriend met up with us for coffee at a gorgeous restaurant in the ground level of a massive apartment block. When we'd lived there before, there was just a shabby little corner store looking out onto the beach. I pulled up a chair across from Nick and Nat and Lauren and burst out, "Look at us, having coffee together -- we're grown-ups!"
They looked at me with a sort of pitying bewilderment and carried on talking, but for me it was just another moment when, without reason, the curtain between what is now and what will one day be history pulled apart and I caught a glimpse of the story-thread running through my life. I appreciated that glimpse.