Monday, August 25, 2014

Life is a Mixed Bag...

Life is truly a mixed bag. Today's weather couldn't be more perfect if
I had put in a special order: brilliant sunshine, moderate
temperatures, a lovely breeze, all topped off by Carolina blue skies.
Absolutely heavenly! Sublime! It was a day of running errands, and I
have been enjoying every minute of it, even reminding myself to be
gentle with the occasional tooth-gritting driver...(gentle to myself,
that is, and it's my teeth that are gritting) by just letting it all go and
accepting what I cannot change. It's called Serenity. Right now, I am
readying the little toaster oven to heat up one of the dishes I cooked
last week, preparing for a lovely meal on the screened porch where
the wind chimes will serenade me while I eat.

But in the midst of all this wonder and beauty and pleasure, I have
been carrying in my awareness, in my heart, the faces of three high
school classmates who are dealing with major health issues right
now. I had known a little about the three different situations, but a
phone conversation last evening with a dear friend in my home
town brought it fully into my heart space...and I
have been holding all three close all day, recalling their dear
faces from those long-ago years at Central High School.

Oh, I know- we are no longer young...we cannot expect that we
will get through these "golden years" without some decline in the
level of our health. But it is especially hard to know that someone
who was an important part of those teen years is suffering, is
walking through a dark and long and lonely valley, and you can do
nothing about it. In fact, the reality of their situations serves to make
one thing abundantly, two things, actually: I have far
fewer days ahead of me than are behind me and so, it is vitally
important to live each one of the days ahead as fully and richly as cherish the little things, like the sound of wind chimes
on the front porch or the feel of a late-summer breeze on my face
or the taste of a good, home-cooked meal on my tongue.

None of us knows just how many days we have ahead of us. None
of us knows what is in store for us in those days. So we can only
hold today in our hands, regarding it as a precious gift, and enjoying
it to the full. We can only hold the people we treasure close in
heart and tell them often how much they mean to us. We can only
squeeze every precious drop of life from every precious moment
and savor it like fine wine or a delicious dessert. That way, when
we reach the end of our days, we can look back without regret,
knowing that we have had a  life well-lived.

Judy, Joanne, Bessie, I love you and cherish you and send love
and light and hope and strength to you. Know that I am walking
with you, even from far away. And I hope you smile often, as I do,
remembering those long-ago, innocent days when we were young
and it seemed as if life would go on forever.

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