Over the years, I've witnessed our fascination with planetary and astronomical phenomena. Comets in particular excite us because they are bright, closer to earth and rare.
Where were you when Comet Ikeya-Seki, one of the brightest comets of the last one thousand years, appeared in 1965? Did you see Halley's Comet in the mid-nineteen-eighties? Do you remember Hale-Bopp and the cult members that perished in the imaginary spaceship with it? Where will you be when that ill-fated comet revisits in 4377? When Comet Ikeya-Seki returns in 2842? Or when Halley's Comet comes back in 2062?
To contemplate or watch a comet come and go reminds us that life is short.
Other reminders exist, even if they are unexciting. Snow falling on flowers. Sunrise. Sunset. Leaf falling in the rain. Cells dying in our bodies every second so we grow brand new ones in seven or so years.
People we meet at the mall. Church and club members who leave and we'll never see again. Colleagues at work who transfer, retire or resign. Katie. Jane. John. Sarah. Lesly. Emily. Marlene. Riley. Sunny. And now Tracy. The list builds like ripples of an early tsunami.
Something around us dies daily. Something within us survives always. Everything invites us to live intensely. Now!