This sign is supposed to be about where not to park your car. But every time I walk past it, it seems to be pointing towards something much more important than that. For each time I pass by, the leaves behind the arrow have changed colour, or sometimes have dropped off completely, following the seasons. So the sign reminds me of time passing.
The seasons slip by, and there's 'NO STOPPING' them. And our lives pass with them, and it seems there's 'NO STOPPING' that progression either. Today, the last day of summer, the sign's message rings especially clear...
Yet how easy it can be to forget this. To recklessly pretend that somehow there will always be another summer, another season, another day to a life that often feels like it has no end. We start 'another Monday', and kid ourselves that there even is such a thing, when each day, each moment, is utterly unique (and another one gone from us).
It's confronting. Frightening, even. But there's a gift of sorts, here in the turmoil. For in facing the finiteness of our lives, and the relentlessness of time driving us on, we can also get closer to what really matters to us. We can uncover what it is that we are afraid to lose. Or anxious to experience. Or grateful to have in our lives.
In this way, our fears of dying can almost become signposts of their own, pointing out the values and experiences, people and relationships that we treasure, and that we want more of in this life. However long we have to lead it.
I wonder what your signposts might point to?
(c) Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar 2010
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