Peace, health and beauty

This morning, as I drove down an empty stretch of 128 in the early morning sunlight I pondered how peace(fullness) and health are two things that we take for granted when we have so much of it. And then, when they are gone, we wake up to their shocking importance.

I tried to imagine that same stretch of 128 pockmarked from exploded shells, with blast walls along the sides, obscuring the blossoming trees, and covered with razor wire; men with guns at road blocks ahead.

It is not too hard to create this vista after having lived in the Middle East and Afghanistan. I imagined myself driving in this scene with a heavy heart, thinking about all the good times that I took for granted and leaving me full of regrets. Regrets of not enjoying beauty, health and peace more, being distracted by unimportant things, wishes and wants that have nothing to do with beauty, health and peace.

This is of course a reality for people all over the world, for older people who have known times before things started to fall apart, in Syria, in Afghanistan, in Iraq and Iran.

I drove the rest of my commute to Cambridge trying to fill my heart and lungs with all these things I take for granted.

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May 2013
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