This is my first post in a long, long time. I apologize to all my readers who frequented this blog in the past. I was simply because I was too busy to write, had nothing to say, or did not want to say anything.
The last few months have been filled with ups and downs of all kinds. Recently, the ups and downs have been so abundant that they have occurred in rapid succession—even simultaneously. One such situation happened today, and I thought I should share it.
I recently began asking for signs about various things in life; I don’t need to get into all that nor to get too metaphysical, but let’s just say I put the request “out there” for the universe (or God, or guardian spirits, or whatever you want to call it/them) for signs about how to understand or work with certain kinds of situations. The results have been interesting.
Today, I was downtown and quite preoccupied by my thoughts and some of the tasks I was going to have to achieve, then and in the near future. Frankly, some of these tasks had me rather unsettled. On my way downtown, I just asked for a “clear and unambiguous sign” about how I should deal with one of these situations in particular; I had noticed that, when I asked for signs, often they would be signs: street signs, traffic signs, business signs, and the like. I just asked that I would get a sign that would be different, yet unambiguously clear.
I parked my car downtown in an area that is sort of “transitional;” there is a mission for the homeless nearby and those who are in need of this mission can often be found milling around this area. Some are people who are just down on their luck, others have drug or other dependency issues, while still others have mental health problems. The area is also home to some high-end art galleries and other shops that attract tourists, and then there are coffee shops serving nearby corporate offices, so one never knows the kind of people one might encounter there.
I walked over to the kiosk that vends parking permits—this was parking on the street, not in a lot, so I was lucky even to find a space— and an older African American man caught my attention out of the corner of my eye; he appeared to be in his 50s or 60s and was walking behind me toward the convenience store. I guess I had not given him much thought, except to notice that, as he was walking toward the store, he chose to divert his path so that he got closer to me.
As I am paying for the parking permit, I suddenly hear him say the following:
“Hey there, son, you only get this one lifetime to live, so you better enjoy it.”
I guess I was a bit startled; I mean, that was the last thing I had expected to hear from anyone, anywhere. I turned around and he just smiled; I gave him the thumbs up and said, “got it.” He just kept walking right into the convenience store as if nothing special had happened.
What that man did was to touch my soul in a way that no other person on earth possibly could have. He delivered the deepest and most meaningful gift that I have received a very long time. It was just a simple and honest comment that requested absolutely nothing in return, but sent the simple yet powerful message: This is it, your life. There is nothing more to your life than this very moment, and you do not know how many more moments you’re going to get. Therefore, the most important thing you can do in this life is to live it fully and to enjoy every moment—the good ones and the bad, the happy ones and the painful—to the greatest extent possible.
I wish I knew who that man was and that I could thank him for that gift. Maybe he’d think I’m nuts, or maybe he’d just smile and nod. One thing is for sure: he had tremendous wisdom that he expressed right there in that brief, passing moment.