Don’t know what you’ve till it’s gone….

 

How much of life do we sleepwalk through? Or for that matter, take for granted? We are so often told how precious life is; how time has the ultimate deadline—yet we still remain oblivious. I have tried to not take life and all it has to offer for granted and valiantly attempted to live for the moment by being—what is that popular word for it–mindful. And though these things sound easy, they are not. We need constant reminders, perhaps even some nagging to take special note of all the positive things that happen. By no means do they cancel out the negative, but they should be recognized and given just as much attention. Sometimes we seem to marinate in our melancholy rather than bask in what Martha has trademarked as the “good things.”

This lack of awareness was brought to my attention by a quote I read from one of my favourite bloggers, David Kanigan, a Canadian in America (you know, as opposed to An American in Paris). I have spoken of him before, and he has a wonderful blog called liveandlearn.com. The passage is written by David Steindal-Rasst, author of “A Listening Heart from The Spirituality of Sacred Sensuousness” (say that five times fast.) Steindal-Rasst says (rather lyrically) that:

 

“Day and night, gifts keep pelting down on us.

If we were aware of this, gratefulness would overwhelm us. But we go through life in a daze.

A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift; a sleepless night, sleep.

How much we are missing in life by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them.”

 

His words ring so true. If we did notice all the gifts that are constantly raining down on us, we would be overwhelmed. Maybe then we would not just concentrate on all those bad, evil, wicked, and corrupt things that we are inundated with on a regular basis. We need to know the less sunny side of life—but it needs to be balanced with good, decent and noble things. And we need to notice these things. Ever feel weighed down with the weight of the world and your place in it? I think we do a great job of sounding the alarm; we do not do a great job of finding the calm in the storm.

Steindal-Rasst makes the point that the only time we recognize the gifts we are given is “when we are suddenly deprived of them” and he gives three simple examples that we can all relate to. We so take electricity for granted, except when it goes out. Then it becomes a precious commodity. Sleep when it comes easily is something we do not even think about; but when it is hard to come by, we notice.

I can speak a little too personally about the example he gives of a sprained ankle making us appreciate walking. I do not have a sprained ankle right now, but I am still recovering from a knee arthroscopy I had a few months ago. I thought I would be running around the block with no problem after about two weeks (it does not matter that I did not run before the operation). But three and a half months after the procedure I am still walking like Walter Brennan (who apparently took on his famous gait (limp) as an affectation and was front and centre of his Grandpa Amos character on the Real McCoys sitcom he starred in from 1957 to 1963). I personally am not finding the limp as successful as he did—and cannot wait for the day when I will walk normally again.

Steindal-Rasst’s last statement/question is probably one we should think about: “How much are we missing in life by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them?” I miss so many things that I took not enough notice of nor did I appreciate at the time they were happening. I would give anything to be able to sit at my mom’s dining room table and enjoy the Sunday feast she prepared for her grown and married with kids children every week. Like clockwork we gathered together to eat, drink and visit—then poof—it was gone. At least we have the memories, but this one thing has taught me not to take the people I love for granted.

Brings to mind Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” where she iconically sang:

“Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got/Till it’s gone

They paved paradise/And put up a parking lot.”

 

Advertisements
Published in: on August 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm  Comments (3)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/dont-know-what-youve-till-its-gone/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. thanks for the reminder, LouAnn and the re-focus. Have a happy day 🙂

  2. Focus on what you have and build on that, LouAnn. Hard to build anything with what you haven’t got… Hope your knee feels better every day. Regular chiropractic care will help align the body, and keep it aligned, to place less stress on the stronger knee. 😉 xoxoM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: