While musing and watching the fire burn, my mind flashed from one
reflection of life to another.
LIFE – Robert Frost, a renowned poet from yester year and one of my favorites stated, “In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.”
Where it goes, though, varies for one and all. For some, it ends at a very young age. For others, it carries ills and dilemmas to a ripe old age. Nonetheless, it is L I F E. We live it and learn from it, or we just live it; exist; drift through it like a piece of driftwood that effortlessly makes its way downstream.
King Solomon summed it up as such: “All (life) is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 2.
The great thing about life, though, is that it gives us daily opportunities for choice and perspective.
Choices either enhance or diminish our lives. Perspectives either have an optimistic or pessimistic flair, thus making life meaningful or distasteful.
Watching the flames leap in the fireplace, as the new wood begins to burn, reminds me of an analogy concerning life.
As we grow and enter various stages of life, we are much like a newly built fire.
Childhood brings us into the learning arena, the differences in hot and cold to touch, yes and no, can and can’t, exploring the possibilities of accomplishing the simple feats such as crawling, walking, running, jumping, talking, listening, etc.
Adolescence makes us excited, competitive, eager, open, always looking for adventure and not afraid to take risks. Hormones are raging and interaction with peers is inevitable.
Adulthood brings hopeful maturity. We find ourselves driven and determined, wanting to succeed and make life count for something more than the status quo.
Mid-life sparks desires to be young again, or acceptance that those days are past. Life is viewed realistically, anticipating one to come along who might need knowledge, experience or mentoring for a better life than what is portrayed by others.
Old age is the epitome of all our accomplishments and satisfactions.
When life is meaningful it teaches us wisdom, contentment, fortitude. We attain attributes that we can carry to our grave, by the grace of God, and also instill in our offspring, significant others, i.e., all those whose lives we have touched.
Regret? Regret comes only to those who have allowed life to be as the piece of driftwood mentioned above. Regret is for the ones whose lives have been lived meaninglessly; I don’t want to live there.
I hope as I move from mid-life to old age that I can do so gracefully, as did my dear, sweet, precious Mama, who is my example.
Yes, the fire brought this analogy to mind:
The kindling, (childhood), is the necessary part to get the fire started.
The firewood, (adolescence and youth), slowly begins to burn from the kindling, then suddenly becomes aflame, leaping from end to end, log to log.
Once it is all engulfed, (adulthood), what a sight to behold. It burns with fervor, filling the fireplace with red hot flames, consistently and in a timely manner.
After a while, (mid-life), it begins to die down, slowly disintegrating the logs into ashes.
As the embers lie silently and the smoke dissipates (old age), the process leaves the magnificent aroma of the freshly built fire behind. In essence, the end result is the compilation of the entire process.
In each phase, I likened LIFE to it!
I wrote a poem several years ago that coincides with my analogy that I will share with you now:
Seasons of Life
Our lives are like the seasons,
They change as time goes by-
Childhood, youth, mid-life, old age,
Don’t question how or why.
Childhood’s like the springtime,
Everything’s so new-
Time’s really of no essence,
There’s much to learn and do.
Youth are full of vigor,
Like summer, filled with haste-
With fun and games and chores galore,
There’s just no time to waste!
Then mid-life slips upon us,
So suddenly; from where?
The kids are gone, where’s all the fuss?
This time is hard to bear!
Around the corner comes old age,
As time comes to an end-
Upon this earth, our life is o’er,
Eternity waits, my friend!
Fifty years of “comfort zone”, even though at times it wasn’t comfortable, it was secure. The family ties were strong and consistent.
The last seven years have moved me TOTALLY out of my “comfort
zone”—out of the box, moving from place to place, like a gypsy or a
pilgrim…searching for that “comfort zone” again.
The reality? It may not exist anymore; the factors that made it comfortable no longer exist in this world; thus making Heaven even more appealing.
Reflection? Yes, it is necessary to give new perspective for life in the NOW. To know that whatever phase of life we are found, there is yet something to be accomplished, someone who needs to be touched in some way…by giving of ourselves and not just drifting toward eternity.
This is my desire: at the end of my life, I can say that the life that was afforded me was fulfilled to its maximum; and that somebody else was a better person because of having been a part of my life!
REFLECTION is not just in the mirror, but in LIFE!!!