Sunday, September 20, 2015

Direction

Basic landscape. Notice the foreground, the middleground, the background. Picture yourself navigating from birth through life to death like walking through a landscape: further away from one and closer to another, all the while perspective shifting. And suddenly you stop, that horizon line still so far away, or so it seems, and wonder, did I go anywhere at all? Did I achieve anything? Am I lost? Will I ever get there?

Yesterday, I attended a funeral for a lovely woman I did not know particularly well. And yet, she made a strong impression. Yesterday her friends cried, her brother gave a funny and poignant eulogy and, I imagine, her elderly parents felt like they were silently drowning. Two months ago they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with her.

Work colleagues, only periodically did our paths cross. And yet, I noticed she was some of my absolutely favourite things: humble, respectful, witty, encouraging, a good listener. And above all, a dedicated teacher.

The card from her celebration of life reads, "successful is the person who has lived well, laughed often and loved much, who has gained the respect of children, who leaves the world better than they found it, who has never lacked appreciation for the Earth's beauty, who never fails to look for the best in others or give the best of themselves."

Exactly. Imagine our lives are like landscapes. And wouldn't it be something if we painted these little lives with purpose? So someday, when others really examine them, they could use these landscapes to find their own way, to find direction? Now that's a legacy.

3 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I love that quotation from Emerson. My other favourite one on the topic of life and death is from a Cat Stevens song (hey, I'm a child of the 1970s) -- "we only dance on this earth a short while." Both are food for thought.

Geo. said...

In quantum physics we learn time is incidental to our navigation through the continuum, through life. Certainly, the loss of one familiar to us creates a void, an area of uncertainty. You describe a woman who obviously worked hard on who she was, someone from whom we can still learn in memory. Thank you for sharing this insight about her positive outlook.

Linda said...

Such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing.

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