Be Alive if You Can

 Weeping European Beech, Topiary Park

Weeping European Beech, Topiary Park

"You are seeing everything for the last time, and everything you see is gilded with goodbyes — the child's hand like a starfish on the pillow, your hand on the doorknob, the dachshund's lurching off the forbidden couch when you come through the door...

You are seeing everything for the last time — the room where for years Christmases have happened, snow falling so thick by the windows that sometimes it starts to snow in the room, Christmas brightness falling on tables, books, chairs...

You are seeing everything for the last time — the gaudy tree in the corner, the family sitting there snowbound, snow-blind to the crazy passing of what they think will never pass...

And now, today, everything will pass, because it is the last day. For the last time you are seeing the rain fall and, in your mind, that snow, the child asleep, the dog making sheepishly for his pillow by the radiator...

For the last time you are hearing the house come alive, because you who are part of this life have come alive to it...

All the unkept promises, if they are ever to be kept, have to be kept today.

All the unspoken words, if you do not speak them today, will never be spoken.

The people, the ones you love and the ones who bore you to death, all the life you have in you to live with them, if you do not live it with them today, will never be lived.

It is the first day, because it has never been before, and it is the last day, because it will never be again. Be alive, if you can, through today, this day of your life. Follow your feet. Put on the coffee. Start the orange juice, the bacon, the toast. Then go wake your children and think about the work of your hands..."

~ Frederick Buechner, from Listening to Your Life

See also: A PBS Profile of Frederick Buechner

 Matt &  Baxter

Matt & Baxter