Day 78: Nothing Gold Can Stay

You may have heard, on the national news, of the death of the Dartmouth swimmer who drowned while on vacation in Florida over Christmas. He was 21, and both a scholar and an excellent athlete. He was an all-around great guy, and the son of my co-worker.

I went to his memorial service today, and his family was very strong, despite the shocking week they’ve had. You never expect for a competitive swimmer to drown, and you expect to eventually bury your parents, but not your kids. Their faith is strong, as was their son’s.

A Robert Frost poem was read today, one I hadn’t heard even with all my literary study in college. It’s called, Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

It was a reminder that life is so short and we have to take advantage of every moment. From the hundreds of people who came to the funeral, and the stories I heard, my co-worker’s son did that with gusto, right up to his last moments. There’s a lot we can learn from him.

While at the visitation, there were many associates from my company who came to support our co-worker. I got thinking about one lady in particular who demonstrates this idea of community so much better than most anybody I know.

She’s someone who plans parties, and shows up to every event, who gives when there’s a need, who is a friend to people throughout the company. She’s not in a very visible role, but her spirit of community is very visible. Her love for life is so contagious.

I find that with each passing day, I am learning more and more what it means to fully live, from those around me. Spending the time we have wisely, instead of wasting it where it doesn’t really matter or have impact, is becoming increasingly critical to me. I hope it is with you, too. My dawn has gone down to day, so I’m heading off to sleep. Live each moment!

DAY 78 HOMEWORK: Find someone with a spirit of community and observe. Talk with him or her, and see what this person is about. Learn from the contagion. Then apply it, as you can.

 

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