Life is Fleeting

As I usually do each February 14, last week I bought my wife some red roses for Valentine’s Day and, unlike some years past, this year I hand-delivered them to her in her office. In just three more months, she and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and I figure if she’s been able to put up with me for that long then a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day is the least I can do. Although she had told me earlier that I didn’t need to get her anything, I know she enjoyed getting them and I was happy to give them.

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year, she chose to bring her flowers home so that she could enjoy them over the weekend, and I, being the photographer in the family, could hardly resist taking a few photos. After taking a few shots and finally getting something that satisfied me, I began to reflect on the fact that these roses, as beautiful as they are at this moment, will soon fade and decay within just a few days. I also thought about how satisfying it is to be able to freeze an instant in time in the form of a photograph so that the beauty of the roses can be enjoyed for a very long time – even long after both they and the photographer are gone.

I am reminded that our own place in this world is brief and the older we get, the faster the years seem to roll by. In the grand scheme of things, we are here for but the blink of an eye. It may be a terrible cliche, but sometimes we really do need to stop and smell the roses, for life is fleeting and it’s very easy to lose track of the important things while we toil away with the hum-drum of every day life. With that in mind, I think the following words provide an interesting perspective:

“You can change your life or not change it.
It really doesn’t matter in the end.
Life as humans live it is too fleeting,
too incidental, too miniscule
for the universe to keep forever.
So just do good to others;
be good, all because it makes you happy,
happy beyond fame, power, and eternity.”
― Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

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