“Like sands through the hourglass… so are the Days of Our Lives.”
A few weeks ago I heard of the death of a 31 year old healthy woman who was on vacation in Hawaii. One minute she was having fun in a tropical paradise, the next minute she had been swept out to sea and transitioned into the next life.
This young woman was a mindfulness teacher and a friend of a friend. I heard a clip from one of her talks where she was telling people about the preciousness of our lives because of impermanence. She compared the day of our lives to grains of sand falling through an hourglass. We only have so many grains and when they have all fallen through, our lives here are over.
That’s a great analogy, but it doesn’t go far enough. When we look at an hourglass we can see the sand in the top. We know how much is left. And when we look at our lives, we make assumptions. We think we can estimate how many grains we have left. If we’re young, we think we have lots left. We do take days for granted, even if we are mindful enough to realize we only have a limited amount. What we fail to realize is the top half of the hourglass isn’t made of glass. It isn’t transparent, it’s opaque. None of us can see how many grains were put in there. We know every day there is one less, but without knowing how many we started with this could be the last one or there could be thousands more.
As you go about your day today keep in mind that every person you encounter is the same as you, only here for a limited time and this might be the last time you see her because one day her hourglass and yours will run empty and no one knows which day will come first or when it will come. This should not be a depressing thought. It should lift your awareness to cherish every single day with every single person. Don’t leave anything left unsaid. Don’t say anything you will regret. Don’t do anything you will need to apologize for. You might not get that chance.