Does your life have meaning? Does my life have meaning? It's a question worth asking ourselves every now and again, no matter what our age may be.
For myself, I find a curious paradox in play here. The older I get, the more apt I am to find meaning, joy, and fulfillment in a very simple moment and a very simple event.
For example, I was sitting on a bench beside the creek the other day and saw a couple walking along the trail with their black Labrador on a leash beside them.
The dog was doing its best to keep up with its owners though God knows it was a challenge because the silly creature had a gigantic branch firmly clenched in its jaws. The branch was bigger than the dog. It was about 4 feet long and 3 inches thick, and kept pulling the poor creature off-balance.
The dog struggled on doggedly nonetheless. What did it hope to achieve by carrying a large dead branch from one place to another? The answer to that one, of course, is that the dog was simply enjoying being a dog – which, I now know, includes the joy of transporting a large, unwieldy object from one place to another.
It's remarkable how much meaning and wonder there is just waiting to be discovered all around us if we can just be still for a moment, and look and listen. My wife had a poignant experience of this many years ago when, as a young, single working mother, she used to work in an office in downtown Denver.
Every day, JoAnn used to park her car and walk to work so wrapped up in the struggle of feeding her two young children and keeping a roof over their heads that she was oblivious to almost anything else.
One day, walking to work, she heard birds singing, and realized in that magical moment that something had changed in her, and her life was getting better. She realized the birds had been singing all along but she had been unable to hear them.
Life is calling to each of us in every moment, inviting us to open our eyes to new wonders, new possibilities, and new ways of seeing things.
As we are willing to relax a bit in our frantic rush to achieve this or that or fulfill some need or other, we discover in a moment of calm that meaning and happiness already exists.
And we see that the answer to the question at the beginning of this post is a resounding "yes." Your life does have meaning. My life does have meaning. All that is necessary is that we open our eyes and see, in a moment of calm, the meaning and happiness that already exists at the core of all being and at the core of our own heart.
My best wishes to you. If you have some thoughts you'd like to share please do write.