Don’t wait to live until it’s too late

Don’t wait to live until it’s too late

The neon green of the grass startles me today. It’s too bright, I think, as the leaves literally take their leave, falling frantically. The orange and yellow begin their wild descent into the muted colors of winter. Hold on, I tell them. I want to stare at your beauty. I want to appreciate the journey you took to get to this brilliance, on your trek to that small death.

We watched the new “Lion King” last night. I didn’t want to. The original was an excellent memory I had of going to the theater with our little family, our young daughter. Every remake of a movie from when she was small brings me to unruly tears, even the song “Hakuna Matata.” But as the lush live-action movie spread across my TV, I sunk into its excesses and was reminded once again of the circle of life.

I’d sing that song over and over as I flitted about my house preparing supper, sitting on the deck, changing a diaper. So simple in its premise, the rich timbre, the small truths reminding us who we are in this world, our purpose.

I really have to say that life is too short. It’s too short not to reach for love, to go after that forbidden dream, to stay angry, to stay inside on a sunny day watching TV with someone who makes your heart pound.

These fast and wild days, when our hearts pump the blood smooth and clear to every part of our body that it needs to go, nourishing each system that needs it. Because or bodies do stop. They give up. They wear out. Parts of us betray other parts of us, and all too quickly we realize we didn’t do enough to live.

Mom died two years ago this month. She did much but not everything she wished to do. I’ve been looking back and seeing what I’ve done these past two years: traveled to Mexico and Europe, finished my novel and sent it in for editing, enjoyed my home by doing nothing, prepared for our eldest’s wedding, seen our middle daughter get engaged, moved our son to Texas.

Here’s the thing I want to say: We can have all the money in the world (or very little), and when it’s your time to go, you go. You can’t take it with you. I refuse to scrimp and save and stockpile and go out never having used the little I had. As the saying goes, I want to arrive at the end of my days disheveled and worn out, screaming “what a ride!” I don’t want to have lived so conservatively that I regret not living at all.

You can call me irresponsible (I’m not), too wild and free (I am), and then you can join me on my quest to live my life with no regrets. I may never have the kitchen of my dreams, but I have the man of my dreams that loves to live as wild and free as I do.

He longs for the unruly coasts of Mexico and the narrow and cobblestone backstreets of Eastern Europe as much as I do. Can we go as often as we like? No, but we can seek out new-to-us places here in Ohio, brick-lined side streets that startle with their history, crumbling buildings that have a tale to tell us.

While I can, I want to sit and rest. I want to move and explore. I don’t want to regret one thing when the day comes that takes my breath away, a day that will move the foundations of my world. I want to rage and share my truth, my words. And I want to love fully, do fully and live fully until I fade into the flaming colors of autumn, not having waited until it’s too late.

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