Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Only Thing That Matters

Henry David Thoreau was an American writer, naturalist, abolitionist, and social activist, who once described his occupation in this memorable way:
“For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms, and did my duty faithfully; …. I have watered the red huckleberry, the sand cherry and the nettle-tree, the red pine and the black ash, the white grape and the yellow violet, which might have withered else in dry seasons.”
His message, truer now than when he wrote it, is to slow down and live life; to stop looking ahead and behind and experience the now; “to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.” 

I look at my life and wonder how so many years could have passed.  Where did they all go?  What happened to the time?  What occupied my time?  And finally, when I look at the whole of my life, what has really mattered?

To answer that question, I look at my father’s death.  I was with him the last two weeks of his life.  We had a chance to talk a little that first week and say some things to each other that needed to be said.  The second week he was unable to communicate.  So, I sat by his bed.  And it was there that this great truth dawned on me. 

When it is all said and done, a person’s life boils down to those you love and those who love you.  That is all that withstands the test of time.  And into death you will carry the love of those you love.  And into life your love will be carried by those who love you.


The present moment is where life happens. Let us live in that present moment, fully realizing the wonder and the miracle of it.  Let us be self appointed inspectors of snowstorms and rain-storms.  And in those present moments let us take the opportunity to give and receive love; an eternal, everlasting gift.  The only thing that matters.


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