Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30, 2016 - Still Learning


I was reminded, once again, that we never really do know when we’re going to have our last day.  Just two weeks ago, I walked through this section of the woods and nothing was amiss.  But today this tree has split right at the trunk and fallen.  I don’t know what happened.  The bark on another tree near it is damaged as well.  I don’t think it was lightning because I didn’t see any charring, and for once, it wasn’t caused by man.

The last day.

This tree was completely healthy and of a very good size, as are most of the trees in this photo.  We can’t argue that it was too young to handle the stress of weather changes.  We can’t say that an ice storm came through and the tree cracked from the weight of the ice because those days are long over until next winter.  No, there was nothing that we might be able to point to as being the demise of this tree.  There is no reason.

But there it is, broken right through when it might have lasted for at least a couple of more centuries.  The other trees around it will go on, and in time no one will remember that this tree was ever here.

I walked on, picking my way carefully down a slope that was wet and slippery with last year’s leaves.  There are no green leaves on the trees yet because it’s still too early for Maine, but buds are quite swollen these days with tiny tendrils poking out.  And it was a good day, too, sunny and warm--45 degrees, my favorite temperature of all.  The spring birds are all back now, chirping and flirting in the treetops, busily buildings nests for their families.  Everything was perfect.  Everything was beautiful.

We never really know.
I felt lucky, at least for today.  I had been thinking about some financial problems as I was walking, but after seeing the tree, I was reminded of just how foolish it is to worry about such things.  What will be, will be.  Each day could be our last.  We never really know.  It doesn’t mean I won’t continue to think about and plan for the future, but it does mean that there really is no time like the present.  The world truly is such a wonderful place.  It’s beautiful and wild and dangerous and fleeting.  Each day is a gift that does not guarantee anything.

Lessons.  I’m still learning them every day.  I’m still being reminded of such simple things because I’m human and I forget so easily.  Each time I get the reminder, I look up and say, “Thank you.  I remember now.  Thank you.”

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