Running late again. Something that seems to occur with too much frequency lately – who knew that retirement could take up so much time? Not all of it with caregiving, volunteering, and household routines – today we had a nice visit with old friends (& they brought the pizza!). Although the kids get together more often, it was nice to have the adults together to talk – about music, about growing old, about life.
Life is made up of moments. Even the routine, boring, stuff. In the greater scheme of things, it is the moments that matter. The old friends that we saw today suffered a sudden, tragic loss a little over a year ago. Earlier in the day, we’d heard about the sudden death of someone in the school community that had been a significant part of my daughter’s high school experience. And so now I find myself reflecting on the moments. Yes, milestones, major events, big vacations – all of these are important, and create memories, but it is the now, which we often lose sight of when when planning for the future or reminiscing about the past, that is what our lives are. A succession of nows. And when we suffer a loss, it is in those routine moments, in those small daily things that we take for granted, where we most often feel that loss. Because, in the end, the life that we live exists only in the now – whatever it is we are doing, wherever it is that we are. Fleeting moments. And although “mindful” everything is currently a way overused trend, the truth is that we do, sometimes, need to be more conscious of the present. And, rather than turning to the Buddhists or other spiritual sages, I turn, instead, to Henry James…
“Live all you can — it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?. What one loses one loses; make no mistake about that…The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have.. Live!” — Henry James, The Ambassadors
Photo looking up into the canopy my long suffering, still standing, willow, taken in 2016.