Butterflies always seem so fragile as if a mere breeze could damage their delicate wings, yet they are more robust than what we imagine. Not so life. Life may seem invincible, yet it is tenuous at best. I realized it anew this week when a beautiful woman, a wonderful mother, a sister, a daughter, a spouse suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Life lost in the blink of an eye, like the early morning mist hovering above the valley.
The line separating life from death is a silken thread, strong yet so flimsy. Despite this we are inclined to take it for granted. In a way this is a good thing, because if we were constantly aware of just how fragile life can be it would be too heavy a burden to carry. However, when we become sensitive to the fragility of life it changes our perception, and that is liberating. Suddenly it sets us free from what life is not. Life is not merely existing, going through the motions. Life is not stagnant. Life is not anger, it is not holding onto grudges and it is not petty. Life is also not to be wasted and neither does it come with a guarantee. Life does not begin tomorrow.
Life is this present moment. Life is now. This is what we have. It is this moment that we must grab hold of and celebrate. Are the neighbourhood dogs driving you crazy with their incessant barking? Rejoice, you have the gift of hearing! Whatever you have or experience in this moment, be aware of it, feel it, experience it, it will not stay long, good or less good, it will pass. When you are overcome by the sadness of loss, feel that sadness, but also remember the joy and the delight you've had. Recall the funny times and the silent times. Are you feeling angry or frustrated? Ask yourself if it is really important enough to rob you of this precious moment. Is it worth it to allow resentment to devour you? Take stock and count your blessings instead. Kiss your child, hug your parents or phone a friend. Reach out to people in need, share a smile and dance even if you have two left feet.
Be fully alive and aware in this moment. This beautiful, perfect once in a lifetime moment.