“I will be the gladdest thing. Under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers. And not pick one.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Afternoon on a Hill.”
Mottos to Live By
When I woke up from my unthoughtful, unlived life at nearly 40, my motto for the next few years became “Grab all the gusto you can get.” It was plagiarism of a Schlitz beer commercial: “You only go through life once, so you have to grab all the gusto you can get.”
With nearly half my life blown away, I realized that the only regrets I had were for the things I hadn’t done … well mostly anyway.
During the next three plus decades, I did many things – and have regrets for none of what at times may have been an “excessive life.” Perhaps that’s because I did nothing I would have been ashamed to tell the world, which, along with the mottos “do no harm” and the Golden Rule form my spiritual center.
But these days, which now number more behind me than ahead of me, my passion has become one of “taking time to smell the flowers.”
Doing so interferes with more ambitious goals, such as finishing my book, “Travels with Maggie” – which is still moving slowly along. But then I can’t imagine giving up the flowers to make the writing go faster.
Of course smelling the flowers is more than just blossoms.
This morning, it was simply taking time to sit on my bedroom balcony, drinking my cream-laced coffee, and to stare up at the Catalina Mountains while the sun made its entrance for the day.
I suddenly realized it was as close to meditation – meaning emptying the mind – as I have ever reached in my life. I have been too busy grabbing all that gusto, when the flowers needed more quiet smelling.
But then I smiled, thinking about all that gusto. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Bean’s Pat: September writing resolutions http://tinyurl.com/mfkmqxf Fine words to live by for the month, except that I already keep a timer by my computer and set it for 15 minutes. Old broads need to move often so they can keep moving.