“Every time you wake up and ask yourself, “What good things am I going to do today?” remember that, when the sun goes down at sunset, it will take a part of your life with it.” – Indian Proverb
I’m not sure of the source of the quote, but “Indian Proverb” seems as likely a source as any. There’s something timeless in the wisdom, even as it points out the value of a single day. That old cliché about time slipping by like sand slips through your hands comes to mind. The tighter you try to hold onto it the quicker it falls away. Making sense of time is folly; living each day as if it were our last seems a better place to focus.
“People say that time slips through our fingers like sand. What they don’t acknowledge is that some of the sand sticks to the skin. These are memories that will remain, memories of the time when there was still time left.” – David Levithan, Invisibility
The fact is, life is a blur. We aren’t walking down some endless beach here. This patch of sand is all we’ve got, no matter the mad swirl of wind or crash of the waves. What will stick and what will fall away?
The central question from that Indian Proverb is “What good things am I going to do today?”, which is where those memories that remain come from. The grains of sand stuck to our hand are the interactions with others, the laughs and the tears; the memorable. Those are what make up a lifetime.