What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
~ Crowfoot, Native American warrior and orator (1821-1890)
I love this quote.
It’s lines evoke vivid, emotional images. It’s words illuminate both the fleeting and enduring nature of life. Perhaps most provocatively, the quote conveys what we most often miss–the simplicity of life and living.
In today’s world we’re increasingly caught up in who, where, and what we could or should be, instead of who, where, and what we are. We’re endlessly attending to what we could or should be doing, and our attention is most often riveted to what’s come before and what’s coming next at the expense of what’s here and now. At the expense of truly appreciating our lives and truly living.
If we stop for a moment and really open our eyes to what surrounds us, we empower ourselves to see the world we’re missing. If we let go of expectation or preconception and recognize possibility within us, we enable ourselves to find enjoyment and resolution (or any number of positive emotions and outcomes) and to embrace the life we’re living.
Life is happening here and now. Sometimes the memory of a flash in the night, a breath in the winter, or a shadow lost in the sunset–if not the fleeting and enduring qualities of each–may be all we need to recall the simplicity and beauty of life. It may also be the nudge we need to really enjoy living.