When we are young, many of us are taught to learn, to grow, to become more. We move through life accumulating knowledge and experiences and storing it all in our bodies, hearts, and minds. Our faces beam with the smooth finish of youth.
But over time, much that we took on fades. Like the rock structure in the accompanying image, which began as a solid rocky hill. Yet, over time, wind and rain have worn it down to a miraculous arch. Were we to sit under that open arch, we would be filled with silent awe at the mystery of it. The remaining arch is more wonderful than solid stone.
Through our years, we forget more than we ever learned. In one way or another, we lose things and people whom we gained along the way. We have no power to stop the erosion of time and the endless flow of change.
However, we can participate in choosing what remains. Remaining can be a spiritual practice, a verb.
I am working on smile creases. As the elasticity of youth fades from my skin, I want nice big folds that outline a smile worn over the years. One day, I may be less able to filter what I say, so I am practicing the habit of kindness. I am working on thought lines that point to the good in others in order to mirror my smile lines.
What remains over the years, what we are left with after time has worn its way, is a beautiful mystery. What are you working on remaining?