“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.” — Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Most every year I travel to New York City in November for work and get to experience the city just before the holidays. The Christmas tree is up in Rockefeller Center but not yet lit up, the temporary stands are lined up along the Thanksgiving Day parade, and the general buzz around the city is anticipatory. Having done this a few times, I know what to expect, appreciate my opportunity to reconnect, and treat every moment like it’s the last time I’ll have a November visit here. We just never know, do we?
Filling our time on earth with glory is a deliberate act. It requires more than casual interaction with life, and perhaps more than appreciating the moment itself. It requires a regular dose of Memento mori to fully arrive at Carpe Diem. Perspective leads to action.
Glory is the wrong word, I think. Written in another era. Less modern. I like splendid or magnificent more. But the point is to live a more resplendent life, not to fixate on the trivial. We ought to look around more and see what the gifts are that the universe presents to us. And in seeing for the first or last time, to savor and shine brightly in our days.