Jake Walker
Left to right, Grit, Steve and Tom Young, with Tom's twins Luke and Max sin front, had a rare opportunity to play a round of golf to begin the new year. Luke and Max got to come along to take score and hit a ball or two. We can't get too busy that we don't take a day to enjoy the gift of life.

The new year dawns ready to take up the responsibilities engendered by the last. A picture of a baby in a top hat blowing a horn, and a bearded old man with a scythe and hourglass make perfect caricatures of ringing out the old and ringing in the new. It’s a time for making resolutions where everyone longs for peace, searches for happiness and hopes to be loved.

Today I am in a very happy mood because, having no book to read, I noticed Ray Bradbury’s little book I had read before, “Dandelion Wine.” As usually happens when rereading a good book, the ideas in it are reinforced. Bradbury had some excellent thoughts throughout the book, but this one made my day, and will make my day for many more days.

It is the beginning of summer 1928 in a magical tale of a 12-year-old boy, Douglas Spaulding, and his halcyon summer.

After a scrape with his 10-year-old brother, in which he was knocked down while picking wild grapes on a trek through the forest with their father, Douglas, lying on his back, opened one eye and saw “the world, like a great iris of an even more gigantic eye, which has also just opened and stretched out to encompass everything, stared back at him.

“And he knew what it was that had leaped upon him to stay and would not run away now.

I’m alive, he thought.”

His father, laughing at the wrestlers, pulled them up. Jack … “stood swaying slightly. … I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. … I mustn’t forget, I’m alive, I know I’m alive, I mustn’t forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.”

Reading those words again was a great reminder how fortunate is the wonderful gift of life. To be able to exist in this beautiful world, how lucky we are.

We may be in the midst of a hardship, or possibly ill or not meeting the goals we had for life. Everyone experiences some travail, some more than others. Hard times come and hard times go, but if you awake in the morning and open your eyes you are alive, and have been given the gift of one more day.

My husband, Grit, had to switch some commitments a few weeks ago when our son Tom called him to play a round of golf. Our kids are in the midst of very busy lives at present, so an offer like this doesn’t happen often.

Our son Steve was able to go as well, and Tom brought along his son-in-law and his 10-year-old twins. The twins kept score, and they got to hit a ball once in a while. It was a rare experience that started off his year well and was well worth giving up the time for whatever else he should have been doing.

1 comment on this story

Sometimes we make our lives too complicated. We collect too much stuff, and we think we require much more than we really need. We fill our schedule with too many things just to fill our time because we think keeping busy is important. Many times we keep busy so we don’t need to face the issues that will make our lives better.

The new year is always a good time to step back and evaluate life goals and place priorities, and like Douglas, take some time to lie on your back and think, “I’m alive.” Now what am I going to do with this wonderful new day I have been given?