There is just something about the way life gets away from you that is despairingly tragic.
There used to be days you’d stay awake too late just to see the full moon or pause to watch and wonder at a starry night sky. Many times you chose the less beaten path, walking to find a securely hidden spot just to be alone and think. Moments of inspiration and motivation came and turned into hours spent merely out of spontaneity due to a sight too beautiful to leave. The crickets and frogs harmonizing, those rivers that beautifully gurgle and weave around carefully placed rocks, and the songs of birds, all beckoning more time from you to listen to their joined musical number. The way the light glitters on top of freshly fallen, virgin snow on a brisk, cold morning, chimneys releasing their billows of smoke, the boldness of the red of a cardinal in such a gorgeous display of stark contrast to the white snow, these used to make you stop and love that you were still here to live and breathe the beauty that is all around. The way you can see for miles and miles in the desert and watch the most beautiful show of the setting sun, kaleidoscopic in it’s magical beauty. Sighing in glorious contentment, you’d sit in front of a fireplace all evening, with an old book and a warm drink, as the rain patters against the windows.
Can you remember how a ray of the setting sun would illuminate the bugs and summer dust and the last vestiges from a recently mowed lawn? Maybe the scent of the leather from a worn saddle in the horse barn? I still longingly stop in my tracks when I smell tractor grease in an old dirt floor barn…just to remember my grandfather. In early dawn, after the gentle falling of a soft, powdery snowfall, each branch has been completely covered and it’s so surreal…like a wonderland. Or in the climax of Summer, to pause and allow the breeze to blow the perfume of the lilacs so gently to me as I walk past…almost as if they know me and the joy they bring. The smell of an old book, the taste of a good, strong cup of coffee, the unforgettable waft of warm, fresh homemade bread…all meant to stir your emotions, your heart to remember and to feel. Do you remember what it’s like to feel?
Because what do we have if we don’t have our memories? Life is made of memories and those sensual experiences are there to bring back a certain memory…good or bad. Either way, they are your life’s loving mnemonic promptings and such a tragedy when ignored. They remind you that to be alive is not to be taken for granted…but to be embraced for ALL it has to offer. Many are no longer here to love, to cry, to breathe, to laugh…to feel. The beauty of living and the experience of life can and will be passed by today, but hopefully not by us.
Do you still have that remembrance that brings back that scent in your nose of banana bread or chocolate chip cookies baking as you walk in the door? Anytime I catch the whiff of cut wood I feel the need to get closer…to extract every scent molecule I can and try to take them with me. We’ve all experienced that unforgettable and unique smell of a contented and satisfied, previously thirsty land after it’s being granted the sustenance of a steady rainfall. It used to be that when simply the right song drifted to your ear, you seemed to travel back in time to the sole memory it conjured up and relive every emotion. Where did the love for these experiences escape to? Why is your desire to learn and love and live so far removed from where you are now? What happened to experiencing life?
I’ve sat and watched a bug to see where it would go. I’ve knelt and encouraged tiny basil plants to grow. I’ve fell in love with the crackling, dancing, and smells of a campfire in the still of the night. I’ve set an old record on to play and realized a lost art…for the enchanting charm of music from a record cannot be matched. I’ve lost all sense of time and paused to reflect on a beautiful ray of sun descending onto the water and marveled at Monet’s ability to capture it so perfectly. I’ve had my heart catch in my throat..at the sight of a sunset. I’ve sat in an old rocking chair, simply delighted to hear the petite chirping of a black-capped chickadee and watched it search winter’s harsh and selfish climate, in such a relentless way, just to find a bit of nourishment. I relish in the beauty of the tiny flowers of the trees that turn to buds, the darling little love songs the birds sing to each other as they search and plot and compete to find a mate, the impatience of the daffodil and tulip bulbs sprouting prematurely; all of these in cyclical unison to the annual melody of Spring.
I’ve been in a hurry to go nowhere fast and remembered what life is ACTUALLY about and paused..and just paused..to listen. I reminded myself that this has all been here longer than me and my important life, and it will be here after I am long gone. Oh, to be that again…to be that of a silence..not of resignation..not of failure…but of hope, experience, love, and life.
Remember when the laughter of a child could make your heart almost ache for love of the sound? When their smile would make you stop and just gaze in enjoyment, relishing the moment, wishing it to never pass? Sometimes you would do that one specific gesture just to feel the goodness that reminded you of humanity’s love…of your love. There were times you experienced such joy merely feeling the touch of a lover’s hand. Their scent being your solace, comfort, ecstasy, and peace and you long to breathe them in forever. When just a kiss can melt your every inhibition and leave a taste so divine, you could never forget it…
I’m asking you to live again. I’m pleading with you to experience life again; the real life that can be had if you stop and look. Feel again, see again, touch again, hear again, taste again, smell again….
Go experience life, please. Do everything you desire to do. Stop missing the point of why we have five senses and the sensual adventure we must journey. Slow down and savor a delicious meal. Take your lover on a drive and park, just to sit and watch the sun set. Find a spot of cool grass in the shade of an old tree, and take off your shoes to feel its chill. Open your eyes, open your ears, and open your heart again to enjoy this earth for the very brief time you have here.
Most of all… don’t forget to lie in a rainstorm.