During the summer of my second year of university, I took a course in Children’s Literature. One of several books examined, explored the meaning of life and death within the context of eternal life. “Tuck Everlasting” left an indelible mark upon my psyche and I find it interesting that my memory of it re-emerges now, as I contemplate the finite reality of physical life…
Recently, I have found myself moved by a profound shift in perspective – by an expanded vision of life - where a lifetime is but a speck on the continuum of humanity’s journey. I can see how finite our lives are despite the infinite possibilities that exist within it. From this vantage point I now understand the futility of backward glancing’s where past misgivings dwell and where the bounty of today goes by unnoticed. Standing here, in my 50th year, I see more clearly, the wonders that surround me, and I feel excited by the possibilities that an unknown future holds…and I know, that the time-limited nature of physical life dictates that I make the most of the years that I am blessed with. Being human means having choice, and with choice comes the opportunity to embrace the goodness of this life and to let go of those things that are long ago dead.
This is not meant to be a trite observation. Nor is it intended to minimize the walk of another. Rather, it represents the dawning of an ancient realization within me – one that speaks to the power inherent in letting go of the attachments that lead to suffering. In this place of release, I choose instead to live from a place of my deepest soul stirrings. As I do, a lingering lightness pervades the very fibres of my being. I feel moved once more to explore, to envision, to see the magic that surrounds me, and to create, in joy. In doing so, I make the most of this brief lifespan, leaving my own unique and everlasting signature upon this experience called life.
And so I wonder…is this the value of aging; the purpose of mortality? Should life continue unending, would we necessarily make the same choices? Would we necessarily appreciate all that we have lived; would we choose experiences and opportunities that would cultivate deepening levels of self-awareness or would we falter in this regard? I believe that the spring of eternal life exists within our own desires to be all that we can be within this lifetime and beyond. The sticking point resides in awareness and that resides in choice.