Whoa-up, there, horsey! You’re movin’ too fast. I had another birthday four days after Christmas.
My parents called to send their good wishes. Four-year-old Max, looking for his grandpa, had said, “Where is that old man?” My mum laughed when she realized he was talking about her husband. “When your own parents are 87 years old, you feel young,” she said, adding, “But thirty-something was a great year.”
I appreciate her perspective, as I start to notice my own fine lines and marvel that my girl is about to turn 5 and my husband and I look like babies in our wedding photos.
So: 30-odd New Years, 30-odd opportunities to take stock, evaluate life, grow up a little more, hopefully.
Here’s the deal for 2014. This year, I want to live with the thought in the back of my mind that I am on my way out–not to be dramatic or to spend all my savings or kick my entire bucket list–but so that I can live in view of what really matters.
We inhabit this earth for such a short time. The days are entrusted, gifts to be cupped in the palm like a sip of precious water. The people, too, are entrusted, for us to love and know and honor as bearers of the image of God. Our talents are entrusted, channels by which joy and echoes of Creative God may be celebrated into the world.
This year, could I live as Mary Oliver describes in her beautiful poem?: When it’s over, I want to say: all my life/ I was a bride married to amazement./ I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
How do I do this? The freshness of a snowy January New Year’s trails off into the mush of melting resoluteness, and I find I’ve forgotten the meaning behind my own inspiration. How do I live in view of what really matters? How do I become a bride married to amazement? Can I do anything to live awake and alive today?
There is value in knowing our mortality and in living with that remembrance. It can be the author of wisdom, a perspective that I long to have before I find myself forced to face it through something like a terminal illness. Watch this in the following animation from StoryCorps of a beautiful conversation between a dying husband and his beloved wife.
In the meantime, I’m going to be starting a series of posts on being alive, on remembering the fleeting nature of our days and choosing life, to live the moments we are given, and to live them wholeheartedly.
How about you? What makes you live in wonder and with love? I would love to read about it – thanks for sharing in the comments below.