Nothing in Life is Permanent, What Will You Take Time to Notice Today?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Life is fleeting.  It isn't constant and it isn't stable, it isn't permanent.  It isn't guaranteed and it comes with no promises.  The same can be said about the people in our lives.  Now, more than ever, we live in a world so changing, so unpredictable, so full of questions.  We motor through the day, the weeks, the months and even the years, often without giving a second thought to much beyond just getting from point A to point B, focused only on the moment at hand and possibly the next moments ahead of us.  Breathing, focusing, savoring, appreciating are sometimes unthinkable, almost impossible, in the chaotic world we're trying to navigate.  Then all of a sudden something happens - something happens that makes us stop for a moment and take notice.  Sometimes it's when someone we know dies.  Sometimes it's when a tragedy strikes, sometimes it's something much more trivial when we're reminded that nothing in life is forever.

I try to make it a habit to live in the moment - savoring, thanking, enjoying, noticing - but even on my best days there are moments when the issue of the moment steals my focus.  And then there are days, like today when something snaps me back to attention and I'm reminded.  Today that reminder came in an unexpected and rather trivial form.  We were driving north on Route 9 after some errands when I saw a bulldozer doing some demolition.  Normally that wouldn't even make me look twice, but today that demolition was different.  That demolition (which was pretty much complete) was of the barn in the photo above.  That barn is located just north of Guptill's, before Boght Corners.  It's probably been there for 100 years.  Growing up in Cohoes, I've probably been past it dozens and dozens of times.  Yet it wasn't until this past July that I was moved to stop and photograph it.  And today...that same barn is no longer.
 Like me, you've probably driven past this yourself.  Have you noticed it lately?  I bet that unless you drove by today or are reading this, you might not have even missed it.

So what, you say.  What's the big deal?  Buildings are demolished or collapse all the time.  All true.  Here's another beautiful structure we happened on - a very, very old structure, that is also now gone.
 This is what sits in its place......

And this is just two of many.   Each time we visit Easton, we drive past one of my all-time favorite barns which stands tentatively, but proud.  Still, I know from the condition of its roof, it's only a matter of time before it too will collapse onto itself.  Each visit as we turn the corner, I hold my breath wondering if this time is the time we'll find it gone....a once charming piece of history now just but a memory.

This building sits behind the beautiful barn.  It has already met its fate.

The big deal about this is that the idea I'm referring to doesn't just happen to buildings.  Other things change ..... values, morals, religion, government.  Many would agree the world today isn't what it used to be.  Folks over 70 can be heard saying things like, 'what's the world coming to?'  I mean really....think about it.  I remember when we used to send birthday cards. I remember I'd call my friends on the phone (that was wired to the wall and had a rotary dial) and talk for hours....I also remember getting grounded a lot for that one back in the day.   I remember when we looked up to political officials, priests in our church, teachers and parents.  It isn't just buildings being destroyed or left in ruin.

While we're busy living life the people we love are aging.  So often I hear people say to me, 'I never thought about my loved one dying.'  Sometimes their loved one was in their 90's.  Sometimes their loved one was in their 50's.  Life holds no guarantees.  Whether the people we cherish are 30 or 90, whether they're in perfect health or aging and frail....sometimes life takes our loved ones from us when we aren't expecting them to leave.  Even when we are, the loss is devastating.  As we approach this holiday season of giving and celebrating, consider the topic of this blog.  If there's someone out there who you care about, whether it's a relative you've been too busy to see or talk to, an old friend you've lost touch with, a previous co-worker, or someone from your church or workplace who just means the world to you.........take time to be with them, call them, write to them.  One day perhaps, like the barn in the opening photo, like so many of our loved ones, that person may be gone and there's nothing worse than wishing you'd made that effort to reach out and reconnect.  If you do it today, hopefully you won't be too late.  If you put it off, you just don't know.  Even resting places aren't impervious to ruin.
Quote by Charles Bukowski

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