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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Carpe diem

Life is fragile.

On Friday, I drove home through a terrible thunderstorm, so bad that I could barely see the road ahead.The wipers struggled in valiant and futile rhythm against the windshield. I stopped for milk at the drugstore near my home, with ominous clouds looming over it, only to get soaked as I ran to the safety of my car.

The car was not a haven for several people that same day. Flash flooding, gushing water out of manholes from 100 inch sewer pipes, inundated a heavily travelled roadway in Pittsburgh.  4 people died, including a mother and her two daughters trapped in their van, and a woman swept away by the waters as she tried to get out.

And then there is still the hulking shell of a rusting car, sitting amongst a pile of burnt out debris amidst the elms.

Some months ago, it was an older wood-shingled home, a  peaceful haven surrounded by a sylvan wonderland, always with a welcoming electric candle in every window, at night. Not any more. It burnt down in a fire two months ago. One occupant died, an elderly lady whose name made a brief appearance in the obituaries, then vanished from the collective memory.

I don't like to drive up that road any more. It was too much of a reminder of the secret fear that we face. That of death.

Which is why the news of the four who drowned on Friday gives me pause. They are gone, their lives spent on this earth remain, to be mourned by those who were left behind. Where did they go?
We can only imagine.

In the meantime between Start and End, enjoy every moment of your day.

"Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may" by Waterhouse



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