My friend who works with me told me she was sad. "There is just so much suffering out there." Her job is to welcome enquiring families looking to transition their loved ones to an assisted living place. Listening to her stories for the week, I was struck by the cruelty of life for some of us, particularly towards the end. They are 59, 86, 45 , 61, each with his/her own tragedy, a massive stroke, Parkinson's, a bad fall, Alzheimer's. Different blows, same devastating results: body, broken; mind, failing; dreams, halted; savings, wiped out . . .
There is no telling which one of us will be dealt a bad card, and when.
Meanwhile, appreciating what is being given, and could be taken away, any moment. The ability to walk. The pleasure of a perfect spring day in San Francisco. The satisfaction from meaningful work. The joy of friendships. The safety of a good mind. The sanctuary of my own home. The energy of youth.
And most of all gratitude for the sinking realization of impermanence, and the gift of wisdom.