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Your Life Is a Gift

Honour it. Give it your best shot.

Colourful tin rooster atop a post with grass, grapevines, lake and blue sky.
The rooster at Evergreen giving life his best shot.

As we face the beginning of another year and toss up ideas for New Year’s Resolutions to write down and stick on the fridge, it’s worth thinking about how short life is.

This week I read The Chosen, a novel by Chaim Potok about two Jewish boys whose growing friendship is challenged by their conflicting beliefs. In the book, one of the fathers says to his teenage son:

‘We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value there is to a human life. . . a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant.

Measured in the context of eternity, your lifespan is less than the time it takes to blink your eye. How does that make you feel?

Every New Year’s Day I drive to Lowlands Beach and spend a few minutes by myself at the lookout, watching the waves roll to the shore and out to sea again. And every year it crosses my mind that this may be the last time I do this ritual, because maybe by next New Year’s Day I may have already left for the other shore, so to speak.

Living In the Moment

This thought about not being around a year hence doesn’t make me sad. It sharpens my appreciation for my life. It’s a reminder to fill the next year with meaningful moments, to live in my head less, to spend more time in nature, to look in others’ eyes and connect through spirit, to talk less and listen more, to breathe deeper, to . . .

I’m coming up with so many New Year’s Resolutions that there won’t be enough room on my fridge to put them! Maybe I’ll just simplify it and write:

Live fully in each moment I am given.

As Mother Teresa said:

Each moment is all we need.

I recently spotted these words on a t-shirt worn by a young man in an airport:

Life is a gift

Our plane had been delayed, the wheels on my suitcase were making loud, embarrassing noises that turned heads in the terminal, and I was recovering from the flu, tired and hungry. These words took me away from these petty issues and into a silent space of appreciation. No matter what my life circumstances are, life itself is a gift.

My life is a brief gift. I must honour it, give each moment of it my best shot.

What will you do with your gift of life in 2023?

With love, Marlane

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