Subject to Change

I walked out in the morning to find the flowers I’d been nurturing shriveled on their stems, leaves drooped as if the plant had caught some sort of virus. I don’t know what happened. Maybe a rabbit or an armadillo dug into the roots. Maybe the guy who sprays our lawn to keep pesty things from growing there overshot and poisoned what I wanted to cultivate. I may never know.

I’m reminded once again of how little control we have over life, how quickly something can happen that changes everything, something we never foresaw or even something we were trying to prevent. All our efforts made inconsequential. I’m reminded that our best-made plans are still subject to obliteration.

There is no plan we can make to protect ourselves from eventual annihilation. Grim, I know, but true. One day it will be my time to wither, my turn to be stricken, and there is no way I can avoid that destiny. The older I get, the more aware I am of what is certain to come and the less inclined I am to place faith in any human construct. There is only the time I will be gifted and my enjoyment of each precious day.

In dog years, my sweet pup has now passed my age. She’s on her way more quickly than I to a lasting sleep. Every day she’s excited for her breakfast, happy to run through some tall grass and roll around in its dampness, content to press herself against my leg at night, unaware of how fast every minute is ticking by. She sleeps while I lie awake, counting all the milestones I still hope to pass as I listen to her soft breath and my love’s gentle snores beside me.

If there is a natural order, I will be the one left behind to tend the garden a while longer. But life tends to upend all order we think we can rely on. So I try to remember to breathe deeper, to notice more, to be excited about every additional day. I make no plans that can’t be changed.

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