I went to the beach with my family this past weekend. In the course of building a sandcastle, which my daughter called “Sea Turtle Point” we got to talking about Buddhist monks. Yeah, we’re all over the place like that. Specifically what we talked about was how the monks will spend days, even weeks creating intricate mandalas out of colored sand. When they are done, they’ll sweep them away, effectively destroying weeks of work in an instant.
This final meaningful act is to symbolize the impermanence of life. This was hard for a nine year old to understand. After all, she spent about an hour on Sea Turtle Point, she spends hours painting and creating various art projects. To destroy them afterward was unthinkable. But ultimately, on some level, she understood.
It also gave ME a good reminder. Even as grownups, we sometimes we understand things, but we don’t always “know” them. We tell our kids things, teach them things, but ultimately the best way to teach them is by example. Our chat about sandcastles, monks and other things reminded me of a resounding truth. Nothing is permanent. Nothing at all, and while this might be a frightening thought, it’s also profoundly freeing.
Go live your life. Yes, you probably need to keep your job and your responsibilities, but you can’t just sit around and wait for the time when you’ll be able to do the things you want. Do them now. Do them passionately. Love the people around you, love them completely and tell them so that they know. Eat dessert. Ride a roller coaster. Go to the beach. Experience the things that bring you joy because you don’t know what the next day might bring.
You may not be able to do it all now or as quickly as you want, but take that first step.
What kinds of things have you been putting of till “someday?” Why have you been putting them off? What are you going to do to take that first step?