When was that last time something moved you? How long has it been since life stopped you dead in your tracks, jolted your mind into the present, silencing the past and the future to focus on right now?
If you had to think about it, it’s been too long, because this is a truly amazing time to be alive.
As you read this the next Great American Novel is waiting be discovered, and poets around the world are capturing the essence of feeling in a way you never knew it could be written. A self-indulgent painted self-portrait graces the wall of your local museum begging you to ponder another human being’s significance, while a painting down the hall expresses the color red in a way that makes your heart want to burst out of your chest. A cinema can pull you into the screen and convince you the world is ending, aliens walk among us, and immerse us in true life stories stranger than fiction, deepening our compassion for one and another.
A cell phone can scroll its page up or down based on your eye movements alone. A car can tell you when you are falling asleep. We live in a world where the internet can instantaneously settle a debate between friends, and warn entire communities of an impending flood before it’s too late. Tonight you could make an authentic exotic meal in your kitchen, expanding your palette in ways your grandmother had never heard of. You can introduce your children to her through a computer screen from thousands of miles away, so her love and her beautiful spirit can fill up the room, and the hearts contained within it.
The planet is becoming smaller, and we continue to explore every square inch of its mystery and wonder. There are waterfalls as tall as skyscrapers and exotic flowers that have yet to be named. A sunset can inspire your entire body to inhale and exhale, and flood your being in peace. There are forests so quiet a calm mind can hear the trees breathe, and our lungs open to the sound. We see happy people who have nothing and yet are beyond rich in joy and love, and they inspire us to love again, too. Mother Nature can devastate us, reminding us that nothing is permanent, how much we need each other and that everyone is beautiful.
You can call your mother, because someday you will not be able to and the stories she carries are the stories you are meant to revel your children with. You can let the nostalgia grow with every page you turn from those old photo albums you keep tucked away, and maybe even see something new in the faded moments they fossilized. You can listen to your children, they way they laugh and love unconditionally, and be grateful to catch those moments of amazement in how effortlessly they see the world without our filters. Remember how a ladybug could command every bit of your attention, and how you connected? And when that ladybug flew, flew, flew away home, you felt a piece of your being leave with it, watching until the spec in the sky was no more. The ladybug is truly free, and so are you.
When was the last time you felt completely alive? There is beauty in everything, and it is never too late to wake up.