Today is reserved for thinking about the dead…of course it’s not the only day we think about death and dying. As a matter of fact, in contemporary life we often think more about dying than we do about living. We are forever seeking new ways to avoid it, to reverse the aging process and extend life. We pride ourselves in our ability to cheat death and disability with all kinds of pills, procedures and manufactured body parts.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing it to; I’m increasingly focused on my escalating debilities and limitations., struggling to keep them in check. In the past couple of years, I’ve had dental implants, a prostate surgery, new hearing aids, glasses, and last week fitted for a leg brace to lift my drooping foot.
Just spoke with some college friends and as usual started with “what’s new” and I started with my newfound limitations. I am becoming what I used to laugh at; another old person talking about dribbling’s, drooping’s, and dumping’s. It was only when our conversation was ending that we finally got to was happening in our lives that brought us joy and fulfillment.
This Memorial Day I am making a vow to start every “What’s New?” conversation with what’s happening in my life that’s nurturing my soul; what’s bringing me joy and fulfillment. And I’m going to get away on more mini-vacations, sit by a stream, wet a line and listen to the music of that fly line whipping by my ear; feel the drumbeat of my beating heart with a fish on the line, maybe even spend a night watching the flames of a campfire on a starry night feeling grateful for all that surrounds me, and saying thank you..
The art of living a meaningful life is to come to peace with the fact that it will end. Everything comes and goes, whether in milliseconds or millennia, life and death are our partners in the infinite recycling of our universe. Once we come to peace with that fact we can get on to the task of living. The process of dying is not about leaving life it is about living it fully in every moment.
And today….remember the richness of the lives of those now dead who have made it possible for us to live.