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A LIFETIME IN A DAY





By Herbert Beckel, age 87


Now, take one full day from your life and join me in a lifelong dream.

Letís choose a very nice quiet day early in the morning and go to a high hill where we can see the entire sky over head. You will notice the very eastern skyline is turning from gray to light gray with pink streaking through just above the horizon. Look carefully, as this is the beginning of a new day and the beginning of our dream.


Just lie back and get the full view. As the first small spot of morning light becomes brighter and brighter, a large piece of life will appear and a new day is born. As the light becomes brighter, everything seems to come alive and appears more colorful, showing us some of the many wonderful things the world has to offer. Continue to watch the small spot in the eastern sky. It takes some time for it to be noticed, but this small spot of light will be something to follow all the way on itís travels, as it moves to the outside world.


It gradually travels to the right and soon comes to a stairway of life and begins climbing the first few steps one at a time. Those are so much fun! It climbs up and down, falling many times, but this soon gets to be monotonous, so the little spot of light checks to see to where the next few steps lead. Yes, the small spot is growing larger and eager to see whatís next. As it climbs the stairway, the spot falls many times and at times the steps seem too high. However, it keeps trying until it gets to a new level and then on to the next level and the next. With each new level the steps seem to get higher but at the same time the small spot is growing large enough to climb to the steeper level. At each level it took thought and planning to successfully reach the next, therefore, at each level knowledge was gained.


As we follow the light through the eastern sky you will note that the stairway is very steep and it is also moving gradually to the north east. The sky is very clear and you can see how far the stairway goes up, up and up! Each step up is more difficult but the light continues to climb. It is now approaching a new level, the sun has moved to mid-morning and there is a need for rest but curiosity and the desire to succeed keep the light climbing. It seems to be human in its desire to reach an easier level where the steps are not so steep.


Eventually, the light, which has grown to very near itís full size, comes to an easier road approaching the north sky and it is very easy to see. Now, if you are still with me, we will observe it going through the north sky, traveling on a level but very crooked trail toward the west. This trail has many twists and turns making it easy to lose the way. Sometimes it loses itís way and has to turn back to get the right direction; clouds cover the trail making it difficult to see, but soon the sun shines and itís life seems to strengthen with each step it takes. The trail becomes easier to follow because the light has learned how to by-pass pit-falls and methods for getting over obstacles that occur along the way. There are many boulders and rocks in the trail that could cause injury but with care it avoids injury and can continue the journey to the west safely.


The sun has traveled to itís highest position in the sky, the day is warm and beautiful and the light has reached the western end of the trail. It rests and looks back at all it has accomplished; but, only for a short time. When it has regained itís strength, it sets out on the trail which is heading south. Although it appears more interesting, this trail, also, has many turns and switch backs which causes the light to lose itís way and necessitates retracing steps and starting over again. However, it soon becomes more smooth and the pace of travel is increased; for this is the longest trail of all and there remains a long way to go. As the light approaches the southern end of the trail, it becomes very tired and stops frequently to rest.


It has been a beautiful warm afternoon and this has been a wonderful trail, so far. But, the trail back toward the east looks steep and hard to make very good time. The afternoon sun is moving very fast and the light should get all the way to the end of the trail before sundown. There are many obstacles in the trail and even if it is mostly down hill, they must be removed before the journey can be resumed and the east end of the trail reached.


The shadows begin to cover much of the trail, which makes it ever more difficult to go on, but the light must go on because the evening air becomes more uncomfortable and in the dusk the light gradually diminishes to just a spot in the dark.


Now, if you are still with me in following this travel adventure you understand that it will take a lot of hard knocks, perseverance and good times to accomplish in this life what that little spot accomplished in one day of making a full circle around the sky and over some very rough trails.


I am tired and as I close my eyes hoping for rest and sleep I find myself viewing the trails that we observed in the travels of the small spot. As I look to the north east, I see the figure of a young girl walking along the trail toward the north and a closer look brings into view the face of my granddaughter, Kristina. As I view the north trail, I find at the western end two figures walking side by side. A closer look reveals a likeness of Delores, my daughter and her husband, Igor. They have gone far around the west trail and are turning into the south trail. I move on to view the trail just past the south end and there was a figure resting alone beside the trail, a figure that looks so very much like a picture of my wife, Margaret. I want to stop there but I feel an urgency to go on down the trail which is becoming steep and rough and the shadows are long across it.


THE END

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