Never Woke Up

We have all heard the sayings, in various words and languages that basically boil down to the same thing.
“Carpe Diem” “Live like you’re dying.” You get what I’m talking about.

But I was struck with a thought on my drive home today. What if I close my eyes to sleep, and never wake up? A morbid take on the age-old sentiment, but one that struck me as more than a pep talk for spontaneity.

You are in bed, tired and ready to get some shut eye, maybe some prayers are uttered, (the request-to-gratitude ratio is heavily tipped towards the former, if you’re like me), perhaps a to-do list for the next day, week, and/or month bounces around your skull; and then your eyelids shut, and that’s it.

The sayings always imply that you’re going to die the next day, but what if the sayings implied that you were going to die in hours, if not minutes? How would you handle that? Obviously you are not going to jump up and complete your bucket list, because you lived the day like any other, and they just don’t let civilians do high altitude skydives at night. All you have left to do is reflect and pray.

Would you be able to see the miracles that intertwined in your mundane day? Would you be proud of your conduct towards others? Your thoughts towards others? Your thoughts about yourself? Could you accept the not-so-nice things you may have done, and be able to rise above our negative-centric status-quo, and acknowledge the good that you do? Would you want to strive to fix your wrongs, and spread more love and joy in the world; if you got the chance to wake up? Would you endeavor to stop complaining, vocally or internally, about your life situation and take each day for what it truly is, 86,400 miracles; because every second is one more piece of time that you got to be a part of.

I want to be a person that at the end of the day, I would be okay if it were my time to go. Of course there will always be things that I want to do. But if I was called home after closing my eyes, I want to feel like I spent my last day present and grateful in every possible moment, and spreading as much love as I had to give plus a little more.

So take it or leave it, but I think my major attitude adjustment for the year is going to start at the end of each day…What if I Never Woke up?

Whisperings in the Forest

I remember looking out the car window and seeing, for the first time, a cloud stuck in a forest. How odd. Of course I knew clouds were dense enough that angels could run and play on them, but I never would’ve thought that they would get weighted down and ¬†snag themselves on a whole forest. It would make me sad when I would see a baby cloud sink into the tops of trees while the bigger momma cloud kept floating away. Then I realized something…the clouds¬†weren’t stuck at all.

They had drifted down because the trees had called up to them, asking for stories of all that the happy white clouds had seen. (Who wants to ask a rain cloud how it’s doing, that is an on pour of emotion, and/or palpable electric rage, that no one needs to feel so directly). Well I am much older now, and have seen this phenomenon countless times, and even have been hiking in the woods whilst it occurred, and have found a more logical explanation.

The trees do indeed call out to the clouds, and some even dance to get attention, and their needles and branches rub together to ask what the wanderer has seen that day. The childish thought that has now been reasoned out of my head is that the trees were only asking and listening to stories, instead of telling some of their own. The clouds are destined to wander about the world, bringing storms in some places, and well needed shade in others, but I never stopped to think about if they liked that life.

So the trees and the clouds share their stories, because let’s be honest, trees have been here awhile, they’ve seen things, but then there comes the awkward part of the conversation…to leave, or to stay. The cloud starts to get ruffled by the wind, and in a hurry asks the trees to hold on tight so that it does not get blown away, maybe it could stay for some pine needle tea (it could happen). The trees misunderstand, and the pushing of the wind raises up their branches and voices, and in unison they cry, “Take us with you! Show us the world!”

No matter how much the cloud tries to stay down, or the trees try to get a better grip, a wind will always break up the party, because everyone knows that the wind and the clouds are dating, and the wind is just so jealous! I stand and watch it happen, the sad departing of close friends, and listen as the younger trees moan with sadness because the wind is pushing them farther than their slender bodies should bend.

I guess as I’ve lived I’ve realized that there are going to be somethings that you want to change about your life that you can’t, but those same things are what other people need in their lives; so share stories over a coffee, tea, beer, martini, jameson & ginger, or a good old fashion hike, but enjoy it. Don’t waste time being envious when you could be joyous in the experiences of others.