Aware of the treasure
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”
— Mary Jean Irion
Wherever you are right now, stop and listen; look around you. Whatever you see or hear — the voices of your loved ones, the bustle of your workplace, the quiet of your home after others have left, your well-tended garden and your beloved pets and handmade decorations — all the minutiae of your present surroundings will one day belong to a vanished past. The magazines and books lying around now, if they survive at all, will soon seem passé, then eventually become quaint collector’s items. The photographs on your walls will fade and appear dated, the hairstyles and clothes hinting of bygone eras.
If this sounds a bit depressing, it need not be. A long life is a mixed blessing in some respects, but most of us would prefer to live into old age, even knowing it will mean many goodbyes. Yet there’s something tricky about the reality of everyday life; it perpetuates an illusion of permanence that vanishes under the most cursory reflection, but keeps reappearing nonetheless, clouding our vision and sapping our sensitivity to wonder. Thus we fritter away the hours and days without taking much thought of how we fill them, believing an endless stream of sameness is sure to follow.
The changes may come gradually, or they may happen abruptly: a single phone call, an unexpected turn of events, a catastrophic diagnosis or a tragic accident. In any case, time passes more quickly than we are able to imagine. I don’t want to waste any time fretting over things that will not matter in the end. I want to savor life, spread joy, laugh often and show others I love them. I want to take it all in, while it is here and now, and face the future without regrets.