I went for a run last night, veered off the normal course, and found myself facing a steep hill.
Rather than stop beside the busy roadway at the peak of rush-hour traffic, (and risk being recognized as the girl from FOX panting like a hyena), I pushed it to the top, and collapsed on a bench overlooking a cemetery.
The welcoming summer breeze prompted me to end my run and cut through the grounds.
A stone butterfly caught my eye.
CORTNI - she was only 7 years old.
I continued walking through the rows of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.
A thought came to my mind.... aren't we all running to the cemetery?
I mean, most of us aren't trying to race there but don't we all have the same destination?
In "The Shortness of Life," Seneca the Younger writes,
"It is not everywhere that death shows himself so near at hand; yet everywhere he is as near at hand."
He goes on to say:
"..the good in life does not depend upon life's length, but upon the use we make of it; also, that it is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long to have lived too little."
No one is perfect.
We all make mistakes, waste precious time and take for granted what we should cherish most.
But sometimes, whether intentional or not, we find ourselves in a place where we can hear a gentle whisper reminding us that life is a gift, and every moment- an opportunity to appreciate what's right in front of us.
Before I left, I smiled at a veteran's advice to the living standing at his grave:
"DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN."
I'll take the cemetery detour again this summer.
It puts things into perspective.