A Gift To Receive

birthday-cake-380178_1280I’ve been thinking about seasons and moments, and how life is directional like a timeline, and I hear ladies not saying how old they are, and others feel melancholy about some percentage of their life being over.

Maybe I’m naive but I’ve never understood women’s reticence about saying their age. I get the idea of life having seasons. That seems obvious.

Maybe I’m missing something but what I don’t get is reflecting on life’s passing and being sad about it. When someone moans,”Now my life is 30% over,” I want to say “How do you know? The young can die as soon as the old. You only have this moment. Please don’t sigh about whatever fraction of your life is behind and ahead of you.”

One way this plays out is in celebrating small and big moments. The brilliant leaf on the sidewalk. The sky’s reflection in a water puddle. Someone’s choice of words. An anniversary of a significant event should be acknowledged, pondered, reflected on. Every birthday deserves cheers and salutations and blessings given, but I think especially decade birthdays should have extra blessings pronounced, bigger candles and cake. Or stashes of chocolate, as the case may be.

It’s not something to moan about, being over the hill or so much nearer to the end of life. It should be something to make much of, that we’ve been given THIS HUGE GIFT of life, crammed full of 10,000 moments every day, filled with color and music and fresh air and wispy hair. What’s to be melancholy about that?

Oh yes, the greying hair. I know. I see them every morning. It’s a sign.

It’s a sign that you have seen diamonds on trees and touched baby’s skin and tasted tears.

And you’re bigger and broader and wiser than a year ago. And a day ago. And a moment ago.

What’s to be sad about that? You could be jaded. You could be comatose. Those would be something to be sad about.

But you’re ALIVE!

This is a gift not everyone has. Take it with both hands open, revel in it, breathe it in deep.

If life is a timeline, it follows that we are at a point because of other points that precede this. Maybe those who treasure life most are those who have walked through places where they learn how fragile the line is, how easily it breaks.

Maybe we can’t know what we have until it’s been threatened or removed. I have been shattered emotionally and physically and maybe that’s why moments are so important to me. After my traumatic surgery, the anesthesiologist shone her flashlight in my eye to check my brain activity because my body was convulsing. I stopped breathing twice, and I resented the nurse shaking my shoulder, telling me to breathe, because I was finally resting and it was dark and calm there.

Life is beautiful, but it’s also terrible and frightening and there are moments that want to crush you. But life is living and growing and changing and not staying the same and I’m not enough of a poet to put it into words, but I want to say it’s a gift. You don’t earn gifts or refuse them. Life wants to be taken and made much of.

So celebrate!


11 thoughts on “A Gift To Receive

  1. Bravo!

    I wonder if people (like me) at times feel sorrow and fear about aging because we see all those moments as lost, not gained. They are past, in some way never to return to us. But I like your word pictures of savoring them as a growing treasure trove… not dandelion seeds blown into the wind, but gold coins to be held in the hand and spent and counted and remembered.

  2. You are not enough of a poet to put it into words?! But you just did! You took the words right out of my soul and set them out here in black and white. Life is a gift. “You don’t earn gifts or refuse them.” But you can choose to cherish or abuse them.

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. You expressed it oh so well, Anita. I like the way you think and feel and believe, and that God has given you what it takes to put it ‘on paper’. It’s wonderful both to live life, and to have lived life, at the same time.

  4. … oh yes! All of it was great! loved the sparkle of the diamonds, the touch and smell of the baby skin… what I loved about the tears? God’s arms around me, friendship and prayers – and the joy in the morning. What a rich life we have, Anita! Let’s claim it all!

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