Why is it we take moments for granted? What is it, this sense of urgency to have more, be more, do more? Henry David Thoreau hit the nail on the head when he said, "Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry."
How are we available to those who need us the most, if we are so absorbed in our own chaos and frenzy? How do we hear the voices and stories of our soldiers coming home? How can we be present for them, if we can't be present for ourselves.
The wounded warriors for the most part 'get it,' despite their battles that are just beginning when they come home. They know what is precious and what isn't. Time and time again they tell me it makes them crazy to see the small insignificant things that upset us. We have no idea!
We lose contact with friends, we wave to neighbors we don't know, we don't smile for fear someone takes it the wrong way, we don't look at the blue sky with wonder anymore, and we don't get a lump in our throats at the song of a bird or an old couple dancing. We don't marvel at a baby's smile or puppy breath. We don't relinquish the control of time for fear we miss something. We are consumed yet still hungry. Satiated, yet empty. We are living, but living far away from the understanding that each day, each precious moment is a gift, not a commodity to be spent or wasted or something saved for later. We are living disconnected from what enlivens our souls. A deep appreciation for the times of our lives is becoming more subdued and vague. As we fill ourselves with distractions and toys and noise and frivolous activities and actions, we fail to hear the whispers of our world and our hearts and those that love us the most. We fail to see the signals that are deep inside that will guide us, nourish us, protect us, and ensure we are living the best life we can.
Perhaps this is the lesson, the magic formula for passage, we must learn from Joe and a little dog named Bella when war comes home.