I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose
husband unexpectedly and suddenly died of a heart attack. About a week after his
death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students.
As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows
and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her
desk and sat down there. With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she
paused and said, "Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a
thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important."
"Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of
ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be
taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is a way of telling us that we must make
the most out of every single day."
Her eyes beginning to water, she went on, So I would like you all to make me a
promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something
beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see, it could be a
scent - perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it
could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or
the way the morning light catches the autumn leaf as it falls gently to the
ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them.
For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the
"stuff" of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things
we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, "for at any
time...it can all be taken away."
The class was completely quiet. We all picked up our books and filed out of the
room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school
than I had that whole semester.
Every once in awhile, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression
she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that
sometimes we all overlook.
Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot.
Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a
double-dip ice cream cone.
"For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the
things we didn't do. Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened."