Life is so short – it just seems to fly by!
This weekend, while braving the desert in cold winter conditions, I had a rude awakening.
Everything was planned and set up with a few other families; we all left with the intention of really enjoying the subtle beauty of the desert landscape. In winter we can enjoy the amazing scenery of the desert without having to cope with the severe heat of the summer. We can also see the amazing sight of flowers blooming in the winter desert and do some wonderful hiking and walking in the relative comfort of the cooler climate. An added bonus is to get the kids away from televisions, computers and the day to day routine and have them enjoy the outdoors and the adventures we had planned.
When we arrived the fire had been lit in the oven inside the Bedouin tent. It was pleasantly warm which was a relief as we had just got out of the car and breathed in the freezing desert night air. At one end of the enormous tent there was a pile of mattresses that were a perfect landing site for the car crazed kids, finally set free! We enjoyed the sound of pounding rain outside and felt quite warm and safe. We started to make up the beds for the night and unpack the food we had prepared to get the evening meal ready.
Just then we were notified of the tragic loss of a young woman in our community, a poet, storyteller and teacher. The first emotion that hits is shock, disbelief and the questions, what happened? Where was she? Why? It can’t be possible. I have spent the last few days thinking about her, her family and friends, my heart goes out to them.
Then for me came the realization, it was crystal clear; the awareness that life is so short and it seems to just fly by. How we assume we know what’s going to happen, and then life steps in and takes over.
Being totally honest, one of my initial reactions was that of fear; of the fragility of life, of the lack of control we have, of the inherent dangers that exist in this modern world we live in. Fear that there’s so little time, how can we fit everything in, and what if we don’t manage to. These are the fears that I hear around me all the time, the fears that bring people to coaching.
Then I looked around me and a greater realization began to spread through me and turn into a kind of awareness.
In this tent in the middle of the desert, we were with three other families. Everyone was doing something, chipping in with the cooking and keeping the kids busy until the meal was ready, unloading the car or laying out the beddings. Each family had brought their favourite dishes ready-made, and washed vegetables so we could quickly throw a meal together. We made ourselves at home and the kids were in heaven. We had created a little community, we talked about the shock and the loss and with soothing words cared for our families.
We sat and stood around the makeshift dining arrangements; the kids ‘starving’ in the way that only hiking and camping can make them feel! We sang grace to start the meal and I went to each of my children to give them the traditional blessing. As I placed my hands on their heads, they looked into my eyes as I said the precious words and they reflected back to me just as much love as I felt for them. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings in my life. I was suddenly aware that no matter how long or short a life is; it’s being truly present in every magical moment that can make all the difference.
I remember once someone saying to me that the most important thing on the gravestone is not the numbers that show how long the person lived. What’s most important is the dash in between the numbers that stands for the period that was the whole life. It’s not how long we live, but what we do with this wonderful blessing called LIFE, how we spend those precious moments and with whom we share them.
And so with gratitude and love, my wish for you this week, is that you take a moment to really cherish that thing we all take for granted, take a few deep breaths and think about the beauty and grace of life itself.
Until next week…
best wishes and best stories,
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