When I first saw this photo I swear I didn’t notice what a richly beautiful bathroom this was. I only saw the simple message taped to the mirror, and it stuck in my mind just like it’s stuck to this mirror.
Now I see it in my mind’s eye every time I stare into my own bathroom mirror, which, by the way, isn’t gilded and, in fact, needs replaced. It doesn’t matter. Lucky is what I am, no matter what my décor says, no matter what the future holds or doesn’t hold.
You may say we make our own luck through hard work and perseverance, and that’s true to some extent. But how do you explain who’s in the World Trade Center when the plane flies into it? Or listening to rock music at the Bataclan when gunmen start firing? Or sipping espresso at a café where a suicide bomber decides to detonate himself?
If you’re reading this, you’re lucky.
Not because of any words of wisdom I’m sharing but because you can read it. You’re here. You’re present. You’re alive. And all that may change before the day is out, or tomorrow, or next week, or next year. The only thing any of us really know for certain is that no matter how long we do manage to live, life is too short.
I get out of bed every day with the same aches and pains and go to work writing. Most of the time I have no idea who, if anyone, reads my words. It doesn’t matter. It makes me happy to write.
I look out a window as I tap away on my laptop. I watch the birds at the feeder, the squirrels digging up nuts buried in the yard, an occasional cat wandering by, the leaves on the Japanese maple deepening to garnet. Soon, too soon, they’ll fall, and the snows will come, but eventually buds will swell and the tree will wear its pinkish leaves again.
I hope I’m lucky enough to be here still to see another round of that.
But for now, I’m going to enjoy today. Our daughter is coming down for brunch, and then we’ll either watch a movie or do some Christmas shopping together on the Internet. Maybe we’ll go out to dinner in the evening. Our holidays are seldom about fuss anymore, and that’s the way we like it because we know just how lucky we are to have each other, a warm house to hold us, food to put on the table, and the freedom to do pretty much as we please.
Whatever you have planned for today, don’t lose sight of the moment—each moment. However full or empty it seems, it is. We are. Here. Now. Just this one time this way.