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Living Life

February 10, 2010

Life requires of us living.  Albeit a simple truism, it is harder to do than first thought.  Living beyond simply breathing requires engagement in the world around, not so much in the mess covered in the nightly news but in the world itself.  The quick little news snippets given us lack depth.  In turn, we lack understanding and miss much of what the world has to offer.  We become accustomed to knowing only headlines and believe we have the whole of a story.  Soon, our attention span is limited to only headlines.  We become stones skipping across the water, knowing only the spot of surface we touch.  So skip we do, going from one thing to the next.  Not until we stop and settle to the bottom do we understand the true depth of the pond.  Our world has depth, depth that requires time and engagement to understand.

Often we here someone famous, when at the end of life, wish to have done things differently.  Famous people tend to live lives full of activity, but to what end?   Quantity never replaces quality.  Think about your own life, do you fill it with hollow bits of nothing?  When life is more behind you than before you, will this be satisfying?  Don’t wait, think about that now, and do things differently.  As Emerson said, “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.”  What Uncle Ralph was talking about is using the mind to study life, and then follow the path it shows, putting your unique thoughts into unique actions, only you can do.  In this way, you will gain a depth of understanding and enrich the lives around you.  There can be no better epitaph etched upon the stone.

To live a full and rich life does not mean a hectic life, to the contrary.  It means giving even the simplest of things their full measure.  Even a insignificant blade of grass holds wonders requiring more than a lifetime to understand.


A Clipping on the Ground

T’was nothing much,
that blade of grass,
a clipping on the ground.

Not worth time to pick it up,
to do so I was bound,
then set my mind to ponder,
this treasure I had found.

It looked to me to be the same,
as millions, maybe more,
unchanging like the grains of sand,
which fill the ocean’s shore.
To dismiss it would be easy,
and return it to the mor.

I passed it between my fingers,
and saw that I was wrong,
to judge it in that simple way,
missing its beauty all along.
With a newfound will I studied,
and heard my subject’s song.

As it sang to me of heaven,
and things I’ll someday see,
it was not a prayer or sermon –
but a song of what will be.
I saw the grass with special eyes,
and newfound majesty.

‘Tis a complex world made simple,
in this gift I have found.
My gift of time is all it took
to know this world around,
from a blade of grass this morning,
a clipping on the ground.

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