September 19, 2009

An Aha moment years ago and I'm still on the ferris wheel

I keep telling myself I'd get off the ferris wheel of busyness to make time for the things that matter. What am I doing here still going around in circles..?


Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end
Yet the days go by, and weeks rush on
And before I know it a year has gone.

And I never see my old friend's face
For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine. If, we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game
Tired of trying to make a name.

Tomorrow, I say, I will call on Jim
Just to show I am thinking of him.
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And the distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner! - yet miles away,
Here's a telegram sir, Jim died today.

And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

By Henson Towne

Someone told me that a friend of hers had died suddenly from a stroke. She was feeling very regretful that they had not seen each other for nearly two years, although they had managed to keep touch during birthdays and Christmases by phone. Now her friend was gone and she was sorry for the times that could have been.

Her sad news had me feeling nostalgic again for friendships I have not been able to nurture these past many years. That's why this little poem "Around the Corner" strikes such a strong chord in my heart - it's the poem that nudges me from the complacency that friends whom I haven't seen in ages will always just be there around the corner. I always seem to think that I can call and resurrect them anytime.

I realize that all these years I've lumped "reconnecting with friends and family" along with the other activities that I will pursue when I finally have the time. It's there -- along with "paint the sunset; experience Florence; garden; write a book; learn to tango like J-Lo..."

You see, I've always been the type who likes to "save the best for last." I think: Well, there's still a million things I need to do, I'll just do the pleasant stuff afterwards when I'm through with the million things.

But guess what? Maybe the million things will never really get done because every time I finish one, another just comes in to take its place.

And maybe the tomorrows I was reserving the wonderful things for will never come.

Friendships and family are two of God's most precious gifts. And I want to enjoy them as He intended me to. So I guess this is truly an instance when I shouldn't save the best for last.

Instead, the best should be first -- so that they will last...


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