Of Perspective ...
Life gone and done it again. I was feeling extra whiny, grumpy, and grumbly about my life. I kept getting angry, frustrated, pouty. I knew it wasn't the right place to go with my mind. I'm not in a bad place by any means. So I'm sick ... I've had a few bumps in my road of life. But ... in a lot of ways, I am very very blessed.
Today, I took time at work to look at some weather channel photos of the tornado damage in the mid-west. I've seen thousands of photos of tornado damage in my life. I've even witnessed it first hand while we were traveling back east when I was a child. For some reason, I looked at this pictures from a completely different perspective.
This time, I saw families who had nothing left, picking through the remains of what was once their home, their safe place ... I saw a man sitting on the ruins, covering his eyes, talking on the phone. I just ... I can't even imagine. There was a photo of a small subdivision, only two streets worth of a subdivision. All but about 8 of the houses were gone. It was the kind of picture that showed the path the tornado took through that area, ripping apart the lives of those remaining families' neighbors.
I live in California. We have beautiful weather ... whether it be raining, sunny, snowing. We get the occasional whopper of a winter storm but it doesn't even come close to standing up to the destruction of a tornado. In California, we are known for our earthquakes. OK, so the small ones happen all the time but they are so deep and insignificant 99% of Californians never feel it. Do you know how often a BIG one has been felt here? People mark them with the year, giving it some significance. The Loma Prieda Quake of 1989, the San Francisco Earthquake 1906, The Northridge Quake 1994, etc.
There have also been accidents on the news and in my local area where people died. Here one minute, gone the next. It takes my breath away and makes me pause. It could all end in a blink of an eye ... faster than a blink of an eye. It's sad.
I live in a nice area, out of the flood plain, near a pretty active fault line but not in any sort of danger from it. I live in a really nice area on an Oak Tree Lined Street. There are horses and vineyards all around. I can step outside and smell fresh flowers all around me. I am damn blessed and lucky to live where I do. Even if it means I have to bust my ass until I'm dead to keep it. I'll do it.
So I have this dumb illness. So I have a tiny bit o' cancer. Big deal?! I'm able to get out of bed, shower and get dressed, pack my food and head off to work and then come home to my own home that is still standing. I don't have to fear nature getting PMS and ripping my home to pieces, throwing my car across town. We have crappy weather but ... not THAT crappy.
Anyway, once again, life opened my eyes to reality. Life reminded me with a big ol' tap on the shoulder that even though sometimes it feels like I am standing at the bottom of a really big hill with absolutely no idea how I will ever get over it ... I am alright, and I will be alright in the long run. Even if I lose my battle somewhere down the road, ... I lived a pretty good life while I was here.
I lose sight of that and I appreciate how the world takes the time to let me know. My heart and all of my prayers go out to everyone affected by the recent storms in the mid west and the horrific flooding in Florida. May you find peace somehow in all of this.
I look at those photos, and open my heart to them the same reason I read books taking place in the time of the Holocaust. I owe it to those people to feel. I owe it to them to open my eyes to reality and how the world is for others ... not just what the world is like in my peachy little bubble.
Sometimes, I notice people around me who could use a dollop of perspective. I pray that someday they will find it, that the world will give them a tap.
Life is short, ... and I'll say it again, UNPREDICTABLE. Tomorrow is not a promise. Today is a gift. All those clichéd sayings. You may brush them off ... but, today, I see that they are true. Whatever you're doing right now, I hope you pause, take a deep breath and remember that everything around you can be taken away ... the life that flows through you can stop ...
Enjoy it, embrace it, appreciate it.