I thought I’d talk about my lovely water picture right above. Tara took it (actually, she took all the pictures I use in this blog; you can visit her blog here) when we went to Yosemite with our family. We traveled up the Mist Trail, and the view from the top was fantastic.
But the part that I remember most from that excursion was the terrifying trip up. I was 14 years old, and the only thing I could think of was how very high in the air we were and how terribly slippery the rocks we were climbing up were. I had frightening visions of me taking one small slip on the rocks only to fall to my doom below. I had a very active imagination then.
But that’s not the point. The point is that even though I look on it now as a sign of my adolescent mind, it wasn’t completely childish. As teenagers, we tend to think we’re immortal. Not elves-from-Lord-of-the-Rings immortal, but we tend not to think of the prevalence of death in our lives. We live our lives, planning far into the future, when in reality, we don’t know if we’ll be alive a year from now or even a week from now. It’s so unpredictable.
You know, dreams and aspirations are good. They’re great, actually. It’s good to have something driving you to succeed, to make an impact. But sometimes, those dreams put so much emphasis on the future that the present fades out of view. Oh goodness, this is so reminiscent of the essays I had to write about The Great Gatsby. Anyway, sometimes we focus too much on the future, too much on what we don’t have and not enough on what we do have. And that’s just kind of sad. Because life, whatever stage of it we’re in, is a beautiful thing. As a friend of mine so eloquently said,
“Near-death experience? It’s called life. The whole thing is a near-death experience, an existence on the brink of sanity, flirtation with damnation, a string of temporary measures. It doesn’t take an hour of comatosity to realize how precious life is.”
In Baz Luhrman’s 1968 film of Romeo and Juliet, there is a beautiful song called “What is a Youth?” At the end of the song, it says, “A rose will bloom; it then will fade. So does a youth; so does the fairest maid.” Life is short. Don’t let your rose fade before you realize that. And that’s not to say that youth can only accomplish things and that old age is meaningless. Just think of it this way, how many times will you ever get to live June 18, 2013?