Thursday, 10 January 2013
The things that we long for . . .
One of the nicest things that happened to me in 2012 was my reconnection with an old friend. We had been really close at one time, but had somehow lost connection with each other and I had been looking for her for a number of years. The night we finally connected I was in bed checking my e-mails for the last time before I went to sleep . . . and there it was, a message from her. It brought tears to my eyes and made my heart glad. We've since talked on the telephone several times and communicate with each other regularly. I vow never to lose her again. We were so lucky to have found each other once more, after all those years . . .
This was quite unlike an experience I'd had just a year earlier when I had found another old friend I had been looking for, for quite a long time . . . whom I'd discovered had passed away from cancer just six months before. I cried then too . . . but for much different reasons.
Have you ever listened to the song by Kathy Mattea entitled "Standing Knee Deep in a River and Dying of Thirst?" It's a song about loss . . . about friends we have taken for granted through the years, people we have loved and known . . . and lost . . . and about strangers just waiting for us to discover them, to make a connection with us, and we turn our eyes away . . .
"They roll by just like water
And I guess we never learn
Go through live parched and empty
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst."
It makes me wonder just how much is within our reach . . . within our ability to experience . . . that we miss simply because we are not watching for it, or open to it . . . or take it for granted. How often do we thirst after something we are longing for . . . when it's already all around us. How often are we drowning . . . and yet at the same time dying of thirst.
We thirst after happiness . . . whilst drowning in a river of abundance, taking for granted all that we already have received. Failing to appreciate, or even acknowledge at times . . . the many blessings in our lives.
There will always be something which we want . . . something more that we are striving for. It is in the very nature of man to be this way. It's this yearning for more which allows us to discover new worlds and concepts, solutions and cures . . . but if we fail to appreciate what we already have, in the course of looking for something more . . . then we have really lost it all.
To live consciously . . . is to live. Anything else is a waste of a good life . . . and it passes us by ever so quickly. I look at my mother who is 80 years old . . . and it seems to be quite old to me, but then I am brought up short in my next thought by the realization that she is only 23 years older than myself . . . and the remembrance of how very quickly the last 23 years have passed me by.
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst . . .
Today I will choose to be conscious of who I am and what I have and where I am . . . and to be grateful for it all. I choose to be happy now.
"Don't waste all of your to-days by waiting for a better tomorrow."
Yesterdays silver lining . . . bread and jam. Somehow in our abundance we had lost sight of the pleasures of a simple plate of bread and jam. Yesterday we found it again. and it was good.
In The English Kitchen today . . . Bread and Jam.
Today . . . choose happiness.