This essay was written by Jennifer Avalon. She has a web site full of them and some very good music. Go and visit it often.
This time of the year Spring brings forth new growth and new optimism. It's all around us. The trees, the flowers, come to life and blossom with an incredible array of colors....the outdoors truly comes alive.
John Lennon once said in his song Beautiful Boy "Life is something that happens to you while you're busy making other plans". So much of what flows through our lives goes by us so fast that we don't, most times, see it or feel it until it's gone. What is it about us as people that we expect so much and enjoy so little? And disregard many of the things that happen to us that we cast off as mundane. Is it that we are so lucky that we have so many choices at a given moment or is it that we take for granted that those choices will always be there?
I recently saw a group of children around five years old playing in a playground. The look on their faces....the joy in their expressions as they grabbed as much of life as they possibly could. I thought to myself, why don't we look at life that way anymore? What is it that happens to us as we progress in years? Do we get so caught up in the bills, mortgages, and the paychecks that we forget the essence and lose the spark of what life is truly about?
The conversation I had with a friend of mine who has a terminal illness really put things in perspective for me in alot of ways. She told me since she has been diagnosed with her illness she feels more alive then when she was in perfect health. She could not believe how much life she had let slip by. She told me she had a successful career, lots of money, and a comfortable home, but the better part of her day was spent on the phone answering phone calls and sending out faxes. She considered this at the time to be a truly successful life. Once she got over the initial shock of the diagnosis of her illness, she walked out her door one day and the air felt different. Her eyes felt more open. Her ears heard every tiny little sound. She asked herself, what on earth was wrong with me before? From then on everything changed. Food tasted different, and she found herself becoming more considerate of other people...their feelings, their thoughts, etc. We finished our conversation with her asking me one question, "Why did it have to come to this for me to really come alive?"
What we have to always remember, I think, is to never forget how precious life really is. And how easily it can be taken from us at any moment. Are some people more alive than others? I think so. Maybe that's one of the choices we have to make along the way. Yes there are struggles, but let us never forget that we were all once one of those five year old children who had the wisdom to enjoy life. Perhaps the five year old is still there.....don't be afraid sometimes to let him or her out to play!!
Take the time to love, and live,
(c) 1997, Jennifer Avalon