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A Thing Promised

Who hasn’t thought, “Take me with you,”
hearing the wind go by?
And finding himself left behind, resumed
his own true version of time
on earth, a seed fallen here to die
and be born a thing promised
Li-Young Lee, To Life

We feel the urgency to live, feel it deeply within. We see the days go by so rapidly—blink and you’ll miss it quick—and something wells up inside of us to do something with the moment. Before it’s gone forever. Each moment matters, the moments of inertia just the same as the moments of peak performance (whatever that might mean for us). We are the sum of each, collected in our time, defining our lives.

Each of us wrestles with the desire for more against the desire to savor what we have already. This restlessness is expressed in different ways, varying from bucket list experience-checking to home improvement projects to staying up all night to read a page-turner, or perhaps binge-watching a favorite show just to know how it ends. What satiates this restlessness? When do we linger a beat longer?

As we accumulate experience, we naturally want more of it. To leave this world with boxes unchecked seems a waste. But rushing off to the next big thing usually means missing the best part of the big thing we’re already living in. The moments that are locked in the amber of our memories are those moments we paused a beat and payed attention. Dwelling in place and time offers opportunities to add layers of experience too.

Seeds are often carried by the wind, but grow in place. Aren’t we the same? Our best relationships with people and place are developed over time. Our promise in this lifetime is fulfilled with our presence.

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