As I Like It!




JANUARY 13, 2017



A little after 5:00 this morning, a clap of thunder yanked Clista and me out of R.E.M. and sent our three cats scurrying under the furniture. The leading edge of a severe weather system passed over Opelika, bringing heavy rain, high winds, and threats of tornados. Flashes of lightening lit up the sky brighter than noontime.

There is something about a thunderstorm that engenders dark thoughts in the primal brain. I suspect it was just this sort of morning that inspired Edgar Allen Poe to write the Raven. The overpowering demonstration of Mother Nature’s infinite power sobers us and makes us eminently aware of our true place in the natural order of things.

While the sirens wailed and the rain pelted against the window in my office, my thoughts turned to the transitory nature of human existence and our tenuous grip on life. It’s part of my daily routine to spend a few moments early each morning in meditation and appreciation for being granted one more sun cycle on our troubled earth.

This morning I was particularly aware of my mortality, and the actuarial fact that I am a lot closer to the end of life than the beginning hung over me. During the last thirty years, Alcoholics Anonymous has hammered home the concept that acceptance is the key to serenity, and I always end my meditation with the Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

I have found that the last phrase, “and the wisdom to know the difference,” is where my major problems lie. It was evident this morning that to live whatever life I have left; I must come to grips with the reality of death—which I cannot change—and concentrate on those things that can give meaning and purpose to the balance of my time.

That thought led me to an inventory of the parts of my life that have meaning to me, and that quickly led to counting my blessings. I have been graced with a relationship with a loving companion, strong, healthy children, and warm, accepting friends. That alone should be enough to sustain me in my golden years, but I have been further blessed.

I live in the South—not only geographically, but culturally. I love the people, the climate, the literature, and the food. I have been allowed to remain active in my business life and have been granted the gift of writing. My days are filled doing things that keep my mind active and give me great pleasure. I am one lucky dude.

The storm front has passed, and with it, the somber thoughts. The sun is peaking out, glinting on the puddles on my patio, and I have been granted another day of life. I am truly blessed.

Categories: As I Like It!

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9 replies »

  1. Tommy, so glad you are safe. Amen to being on the upside of the grass – we’re both blessed and vertical and not being viewed. Hope to see you at the 60th. George

  2. Tom, You have captured the thoughts that all of us have from time to time, however, you have expressed it in a near-perfect way. Thank you for sharing!


  3. blockquote, div.yahoo_quoted { margin-left: 0 !important; border-left:1px #715FFA solid !important; padding-left:1ex !important; background-color:white !important; } Good One Lawrence! Carpenter 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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