On fragility

I have wittnessed so many accidents lately, I’m beginning to wonder whether somebody is trying to tell me something. Do you remember that sealed-off corner of your heart that holds your worst fears? Like losing your loved ones. Injury. Death. Do not ignore it.

Most of the accidents were minor, involving some damaged metal, mildly shocked drivers and passengers, sometimes angry yelling. But one of them was horrible, haunting, awful. I didn’t see all of it, but the collision, the impact, the shock on the driver’s face was enough to let the red and yellow clothing, the black of the car remain so vivid that adrenaline rushes into my bloodlines at the mere thought.

Oh, how fragile we are.

In a split second, everything can change.

My husband used to have the following poem pinned to his wall:

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.”

It’s the first stanza from Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”, written in the 1600s.

That these words made it into my head 400 years after they were written is all I need to know about their truth.


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