A few days ago I met a man from Egypt. He was disguised as my driver, but he really was philosopher. We engaged in polite chit-chat and he asked me questions about my life and family.
As I shared with him, I could feel myself going back to the day my children arrived and the struggles we have gone through together.
He told me about his daughter who he sees three days a week. He said that he had hopes for a life with her mother but then everything changed. He spoke more about change and then I told him the secret that he had been sent to extract;
“Life is long,” I told him. He brought the car to an unexpected stop and turned completely around.
“What did you say?” He asked. I shook my head and told him the truth he had released and repeated what I had just remembered, “Life is long.”
He told me that everyone says it’s short and I told him that it’s because they are not truly living it. We get stuck in reverse and think that everything is moving fast but we are just staying in one spot.
When you move forward, mindful of all that is around us, life becomes much longer.
I told him that I was 52; that I’d lived a big life and more keeps on coming. He told me I looked much younger and I told him that it’s because life is long.
He smiled, turned around and put the car back in drive. From his rear view mirror I could see his eyes smiling back at me and I returned the favor.
“You are wise beyond your years”, he said and then just before leaving me at my destination he told me what he knew.
“You are correct, life is long; use every moment wisely.”
He hugged me and I felt I knew him. In that brief moment, I thought of all the drivers I’d ridden with, some I had spoken to, others I had not. I thought of early morning shuttles and hotel vans. I thought of getting back home to my children who always seemed taller and smarter with each reunion. I thought of the lives I’ve touched and those that have touched mine and I stood there in gratitude for the truth.
Yes, life is long.
Live every moment fully, mindfully, respecting the space and time you occupy.
Be you, be well, live long.
Bertice Berry, PhD.