“For it is up to you and me
to take solace
in nostalgia’s arms
and our ability
from fleeting moments.”
― Sanober Khan,
It’s said about beauty, that it’s fleeting; that at any moment what we know of as beautiful can change. Like flowers that bloom and give us beauty, they soon wither.
This can be said about life itself. The life we know fleets before our eyes, through moments that come and go, in experiences that rise and fall away. It all exists now, but slowly it leaves us, continually fading until it’s gone.
All life in this world is so very short, yet it seems so long in our conscious awareness of time. One short moment truly lasts a lifetime.
But in our experience, it is true, we can make these moments everlasting.
We’ve all heard the expression, to live each day as if it were your last. But how often is this made a practice of daily living? To live each moment fully, understanding that when it’s gone, it exists no more? This is what we might preach, but a concept we may never fully adopt nor understand.
Things come, things go. As we all live in an already vanquished sphere of Earthly forms.
People come, and go. We are born, we live, we experience, and then, we too are gone.
My downstairs neighbor, Ms. Becky, passed away the other day. Unknown to any of her neighbors, unknown to any of her family until just yesterday. I myself just found out this morning.
It’s hard for me to fully accept the new reality that I’ll no longer see her face, hear her say hello in that sweet, ever so southern and polite voice of hers. I’ll no longer hear her dog yapping away at the window as I pass by to check the mail.
It’s hard for me to realize that now we won’t be stealing each others parking spot in the summer, the only one close by that rests under a shade tree. Even now, her car still sits in the parking lot directly under the sun, right outside, just beyond my window. And now I realize that was the last time I saw Ms. Becky alive; when she parked her car, said hello and walked inside.
She, like so many, is now gone.
Ms. Becky never seemed to be ailing much. From what anyone could tell, she was fit as a fiddle. Barely beyond her late fifties, living her retired life always smiling and pleasant to anyone around. But, her time, her moment in this life has now come to an end. Her path here has ended, and a new one has begun.
As her path here ends, I’m reminded of a familiar one.
A short and narrow walking path runs from the parking lot to the front of the building here where we live. I’d never given this path much thought before until this morning. One day not too long ago I sat on the porch and watched as Ms. Becky gathered groceries out of her car. She then waved and asked if I could give her a hand, naturally I obliged.
But, she didn’t need help with her groceries. She needed help walking down the path. That day she’d hurt her ankle and wasn’t sure if she could make it to the door without falling. She gently took my arm and we walked slowly toward her door, laughing about her stubborn ankle.
Sometimes, we all need help down the path, even if it’s to take the arm of a neighbor for less than twenty steps. This is just a simple part of life.
These things in our lives that we treasure so much are but mere things, and once they are gone we barely think about them. But when a person leaves us, whether a neighbor, friend, loved one or anyone, this truly leaves a mark.
Not simply a mark, but an empty space in our lives.
We should all think about those in our lives that we pass by each day, even if it’s for a brief moment. We should cherish the words that we share and the moments that bind us together in this experience.
Of course, this is easier said than done as we are all so caught up in our own world, in our own existence, but it is through moments like this when I’m reminded that this experience is not mine alone, but shared with everyone that I pass along the path.
I wish Ms. Becky Godspeed on her journey from this world, and my prayers and thoughts are with her as she now lays to rest.
In remembering her I’m both humbled by the brevity of this life and awakened by the moments that we all share, along our paths that seems to cross so often.
I’m reminded, we are truly never alone.
One day I’m sure, I’ll pass Ms. Beck again along a different path. Perhaps then, she’ll be the one helping me. But then, perhaps she already has.
Remember these moments. Remember the lives of those you share this world with. Because one day, someday, any day; in any hour or moment from now…
We will all be gone.