“…only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon
Sometimes I am shocked into considering the ridiculous brevity of my life by…looking up at the vast universe or by looking back into the history of generations of people who have already lived and died. Sometimes it is a brutal confrontation with death in a dream or in an unexpected tragedy. But, when this happens, my life takes on the more noble qualities of:
- a sense of urgency to live fully today
- a sensitivity about what really matters
- a renewed commitment to live with courage, compassion, and surrender
I can make the sparkle and the melting count today. I can do what I was born to do with cheerful abandon.
Or, I can fret, fear, despair, complain, and squander what little I have left.
(encore post from July 2014)
A big part of growing up today is smiling.
Smiling at whatever life is right now.
Especially the things that bother and annoy.
What extra time and energy I have.
To marvel at the miracle of existence.
Recalling the Currency
We have forgotten it in this new world
Where trading is in the tangibles
One day our heart swells uncomfortably in our chest
Or tears come embarrassingly out of nowhere
For a song or an image or an undeserved kindness
We, unsure why
May plan a life and
Work hard to cover the discomfort of the something
Tugging from our forgotten past
Yet, always in the end
We will recall the currency of love and invisible miracles
While chopping vegetables for dinner
I was stunned into silence by the celery
Its green parallel lines and majestic shape
And, then, the perfection of the turkey
Moved me to tears (or was it the intricacies of the onion?)
After that, I admired the plump cranberries
And, then, the cherries on the cake
Even the totally impressive appearance
Of the salt and sage
I handled every ingredient with tenderness
But had to stop and ask for help
To do the same with those
Who came to eat
(It’s easier to love celery, even if I wasn’t celery in a former life. Vegetables, fruits, animals, and birds are easier to love because they usually don’t challenge my ego. I guess, if I want to do better in this life, I will have to do better at ego-less living.)
Today, I heard myself thinking, “I don’t know what my life is about.” This thought is always accompanied by a sigh and maybe a little depression. But, today, right after the sigh, someone asked me to help them. As I did, my confusion cleared. “Oh yeah, I forgot. I’m here to be kind.”
Emily Dickinson said so.