Buddha was along for the ride last year. Strapped in his seat belt, he was safe and sound and ready for whatever might come his way. Life is full of suffering you know. And he has managed to make himself secure in the back seat and is along for the ride.
Life is like that. We sit down, we strap our seat belts on to keep us safe, and we hit the road in a capsule of steel. It's all fine until one day, unsuspecting, someone swerves into our lane and hits us from another lane. Was there anything I could have done to avoid that, I ask? Could I have seen that coming or swerved out of the way before my car was hit? All this is conjecture, of course. My car was not involved in an accident but how often do we cruise through life thinking that all is fine and good and WHAM...we are blindsided.
In the last week I have lost two friends very suddenly. Everyone was shocked by both deaths. We were not prepared for what we were to hear. And that's just the way that life is...a mystery. No matter how many seat belts we strap on to ourselves, no matter how braced we are in our "vehicle" (body), we are stunned when someone makes their transition and moves on to another realm. It's all a mystery. No one will ever really know what is on the other side of that door that remains open for just a second and then slams shut.
I have recently begun to question so many more things than I did when I was in my twenties, thirties, even forties and fifties. This year I turn 65. In some ways it seems like I am ready for what may come and in other ways I think that I have a lot of work to do still. I am striving to move forward, to make amends, to question the unknown and make peace with it. But it is not always dependent on what I choose to do. There is always another party that needs to accept my advances and if unwilling, there is nothing that I can say or do that will ever make any difference. Or so it seems.
It makes a difference to me. And really, that is all that really matters. I am strapped in, waiting for the long trip ahead, bracing myself for the bumpy ride ahead. I am on the downhill side of life and I know that it is going to be a bumpy ride! I might hit a few potholes along the way but if I brace myself, I will bounce right out and land safely. I might need a new tire or two or a new shock absorber (believe me...I could have used that shock absorber this week!)...maybe even a new horn to help me voice my opinion, a new set of windshield wipers to help me see the road ahead clearly...but I am strapped in and like Buddha...along for the ride.
I think that as long as I keep my options open for whatever I might find on this journey that I cannot help but end up safe and sound. And when that door opens and slams shut once I am through it, I will be prepared for the next journey that awaits me. Just like my friends Jeff and Joann.
May they make the journey with their eyes open and their hearts full. Their journey has just begun.
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