Over the last few weeks we seem to have been either going to memorial services, funerals or visiting/hearing about friends who are seriously ill. When commenting on it, the usual reply is ‘Well it’s that time of year.’
This has all led to me realising that more than ever we need to make the most of every day, be thankful of what we can do, focus on the ‘now’ and not dwell on the past or worry about the future.
There are some days when it’s possible to climb a mountain and other days when even a mile proves a challenge. This I suppose makes us more aware of the importance of living for the now and doing what we can when we can.
We have been remembering the Reinhold Nieber quotation God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Whether we believe that there is a God or not, that’s a good philosophy to live by.
Thankfully, the book ‘From the Mountains to the Sea’ has at last been launched. Life remains busy but slightly less hectic …
How can we have already reached November? What happened to the second half of October?
There are some months when the days, weeks seem to pass so quickly that it seems impossible that all days have the same number of hours, minutes, seconds.
What is time? We measure it now with clocks and watches. In the days when people relied on sundials and candles, I rather suspect that they also had the same issue with time not seeming to be constant. If faced with a pile of things that needed attending to, then time would seem to pass all too quickly.
Why is it that as we get older the years seem to be shorter? A young child waiting for Christmas will feel that November and December are far longer than the months of summer holidays.
Looking back on our lives as we get older, it seems incredible that so much happened in a relatively short space of time and yet when living through those years there were certain periods of time that sped by while others dragged.
Does time pass more quickly when all is going well in our lives? Those in pain or grieving may well find that the days are endless. TS Eliot often wrote about time and how we relate to the past, present and future. We see our past in the present and the future.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present,
from Eliot’s Burnt Norton – the first of his Four Quartets
By living for the ‘now’ we hope to become more aware of the world around us and more aware of what we’re doing in that world. Worrying about the future doesn’t help the present nor does it help to make it better. Dwelling on the past and ‘what ifs’ is no good either. There is a phrase that is often used – possibly too often these days – ‘we are where we are’. But perhaps accepting that fact does help us live ‘in the now’ and make the most of every minute.
There are times in life when we think we know where we’re going but we find that life takes us in a completely different direction.
We wonder why and may even try to fight against whatever path we seem to be taking. But, if we are to follow the words of Rheinhold Niebuhr …
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference
and remember amor fati , then life seems to begin to make sense and we can accept that the road not followed was maybe not the right one. We are perhaps heading where we should be going after all.
Occasionally, we see that there are times when even trees find themselves changing direction.
It was taking this photo in the Wood of Cree earlier today that prompted me to write the above post.