The Trestle

I have passed by this trestle all my life that I can remember. It’s an icon for me, as those of you who even remotely look at my posts will already know. It demonstrates to me over the last few year how things can change. It has gone from rusty black to shiny white with a flag. But still there are those reflections in the water. Those reflections. Our lives are reflections. We are reflections of who we have grown up with, of where we have grown up. We are reflections of our experiences be they bad or good. We are reflections of the unknown.

I have had the privilege of living in seven decades, in two different centuries, and two different millenia. How many people can say that? It has all been good. I have not accomplished nearly as much as I thought I would, but it has been good. I will continue to go on, and I will now reflect the values which I have gathered over this unique time in which I live. Many don’t agree with me, some do. I anger some people. Some I do not. I am what I am, I cannot help it. I reflect my nature into the river of life which flows past me each and every day, just as surely as the railroad trestle casts it’s reflection into the Chattooga river. I am the old, rusty black trestle. I think it casts a deeper and more moving reflection. I hope that as I continue to live, I can affect my children and grandchildren to have values which they will not compromise, because they will need them in the future as their own river runs beneath them.

Our Time Here is Borrowed

What we have here is only borrowed. We think we own land, houses, cars and other possessions, but we do not. We often care for our possessions more than we care for the people around us. People who have more money than they can ever spend themselves horde it instead of giving just a little of it to make more people comfortable.

We own nothing. Everything we think we own is simply borrowed for the short time we are here on earth. Our bodies are our own, but even those will be turned back into dust once we’re finished with them. Depending on your belief system we go from there to a known….or greatly unknown existence, or a lack of one.

We should act as borrowers then, and in my own personal system of belief, be grateful to the one to whom we are really indebted. Even if one does not believe in a supreme being, they should still exhibit enough humanity to share their good luck.

Our debt will be up for payment one day, and the only…the one and only thing which will matter, is how we have treated our fellow debtors. No matter how you believe.

The Beauty of Sunrise, and Life

We have all seen them. Beautiful Sunrises. Mornings when the light turns dozens of colors behind a scant screen of clouds. Everything from muted purples to magentas, to bright blood red. How does a beautiful Sunrise make you feel?

For me the beginning of the day, which is signified by that marvelous sunrise, symbolizes a daily rebirth. A new beginning, a time when everything is new again and all options for doing things wonderful, useful, loving, and kind are open. It renews my soul. It tells me in no uncertain terms that I am alive, and that I have been treated to the sight of some of the most beautiful colors on God’s own palette. I give thanks for life and the chance to live it. To experience other people, people who I love and who love me. To touch another person, even to simply shake hands or to brush back the hair of my daughter, my granddaughter, or my wife from their foreheads is an experience that I will only get to enjoy once. Just once, that I will remember in any case.

I can taste food for another day and hear music. I don’t really even care what kind most of the time…I generally like it all. I get the privilege of talking and interacting with other people, most of the time in a positive manner. All of this starts with the beautiful Sunrise that I saw this morning.

Then the other night going to take my granddaughter to soccer practice, there was a stupendous Sunset. How does a gentle sunset make you feel?

The colors were a similar palette as was the Sunrise, but the feeling was different. Day was leaving. I felt peaceful. I felt content. My list of things to do for the day was done, and I was heading towards the house to rest. Headed towards my home, my familiar place, my territory. I had accomplished all I could during the day and I was satisfied. Maybe I should have tried to do more, I feel that way practically every day. But in the awesome light of that Sunset I felt happy, tired but happy. I knew I would be glad to get home, and see the ones that I love. My tasks that others would have me do were over. I would eventually lay down that night, and rest this body that God gave me, happy to have seen another day on this Earth.

Life and Death are like the sunrise and sunset. Both are beautiful in their own way, similar, yet vastly different. It’s what happens in between, what WE make happen in between that forms the legacy of our lives. It’s the appreciation of getting to see the sunrises and sunsets of other people’s lives that hopefully will make us appreciate our own and be less afraid of the final sunset that we all must come to one day. Not melancholy, but happy to have shined and to have enjoyed being in the light. I know I am.

We all fear the unknown, and not knowing what’s on the other side of that sunset IS a bit scary. Even to those who are secure in their beliefs and solid in their convictions. I experience that tinge, we all probably do when we think about it. I experienced it heavily yesterday. But I believe the soul goes on, and we are meant to all be together again. I am thankful for that.