Recently my world was shaken. Two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, right at the finish line. The bombs were timed for maximum impact, going off around 4 hours after the start of the race, when most leisure-runners would be finishing. They were homemade devices, made of nails and shrapnel, intended for killing and maiming athletes and the bystanders there to support them.
I grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts, roughly 26 miles West of Boston, very close to the start of the race. The Boston Marathon was always a very big deal in my community, as it was an event that caught the attention of the entire nation. My Dad ran it once, and I stood on the sidelines, although, I was too young to remember this. I do remember watching the race from various points, or on television, and sometimes lamenting the fact that it overshadowed my birthday.
But mostly, the Boston Marathon just reminds me of my hometown, where I lived for 18 years in the same house before moving to Miami for college. I think this is why I've had such a hard time processing this act of terror. It happened in my back yard.
I have been on an emotional roller-coaster since last Monday, and I wasn't even there! I can't imagine what it must have been like for those in attendance, and especially for those hurt, or hurting from losing others. In the last few days, I've been increasingly aware of my legs and all that they do for me, and of the fact that my husband and daughter are healthy and whole.
But I've also been thinking about the value of time, and how precious each moment becomes when tragedy occurs. The fact is, none of us really knows what might happen next, and as scary as that is, we can either choose to live life to the fullest, or hide in fear. In it's music, the Dave Matthews Band chooses life.
With lyrics like, "Don't burn the day," and "Life is short but sweet for certain," the band espouses the importance of being an active participant on this fragile journey. In fact, this "carpe diem" philosophy is as DMB as the day is long.
Interestingly, last week, I realized that another musical artist is also concerned with time. In a yahoo article by Billy Johnson, Jr., Flavor Flav is quoted as saying that "The reason why I wear this clock is because it represents time being the most important element in our life," he said. "Time can't afford to be wasted, but not only that, but God only gave us one life. Each minute we live, we got to live each second to our best value. Time brought us up in here, and time can also take us out."
When I read that, I immediately thought of Dave, as his vocals have echoed this sentiment for years.
There are many ways for us to learn the value of time. Tragedy teaches it, as does the wisdom of artists. There is no use in worrying, or hurrying. Today, there's only sunshine on your shoulders.