“Suck the marrow” out of life. It has been one of my very favorite quotes since my first watching of Dead Poet’s Society, long long ago. Sucking the dripping goodness out of every one of life’s bones. Daily, we eat the meat of life and part of that is finding a few bones somewhere throughout. Then we can choose to devour parts of those too, leaving behind what is non-nutritious for us and scarfing up every bit that brings us goodness, even if takes a little work to get all that marrow out. My son Quinn teaches me passion. He attacks his meat, and his life, with voracious energy, enjoying it fully. I too want to grunt my way through both the everyday and the extraordinary, getting my face and hands juice-covered in full enjoyment of the experience.
My bulletin board is filled right now with a number of Trader Joe’s greeting cards with wonderful quotations, all of them perfect for THIS season of “carpe diem, suck the marrow”. Virginia Woolf proclaims, “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” “It is astonishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen,” declares Frances Hodgson Burnett from the front of another, star-covered, card. “Life’s perfect moments are now,” says a third. These are the very lessons God has been teaching me in neon-colored clarity lately. RIGHT NOW is the best time to wake up praising God. RIGHT NOW is the perfect time to enjoy life to the hilt. RIGHT NOW is the adventure we’ve all been waiting for, if we can only open our spirit-eyes and see.
Robert Frost says “two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” I used to think those words referred to the grand adventure of a non-traditional life. A life spent in the bush and in danger and experiencing the greatest highs and lows imaginable. Now I know that those words DO mean that way of life but they also refer to the grand adventure of another non-traditional way of life. To waking up each day fully alive wherever you are. To looking full in my children’s faces and memorizing the lines of their sleeping feet and remembering that I do not get them forever but today I get them, alive and well and right before me. To finally tackling that creative project that I have been afraid of and realizing that I really am capable of doing THAT too. To choosing foods and a lifestyle that make me feel more fully alive and well than I have, ever. Those Robert Frost words can and do refer to this time of reading hungrily on topics I have long wondered about. Of expanding my horizons in a million different ways at once. Of being more careful with money than ever before. Of learning that less is more in a deeper, fully, stronger way. This too is a great adventure, for “adventure is not outside a man, it is within.” George Elliot.
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore,” says Andre Gide. But losing sight of the shore is much simpler than we imagine, yet so much harder too. There are geographical shores, true. But there are also shores of the mind and the heart, the spirit and the soul, that are far harder to lose sight of. Am I willing to risk? To be brave? To be true to the siren call from Him and lose sight of what has felt familiar, comfortable, safe, normal?
This is a season of living life all-out. Of taking in every bit of marrow goodness around me. It is a season of enJOYing and happiness. It is a season of rest because true rest is actually a time of the most productive activity at the deepest level of ourselves. It is a season of hope and anticipation. It is a season of stewardship, resourcefulness and anticipation. It is a season of magical creativity and the fulfillment of a life-long love of beauty.
This is now. It is good. Carpe Diem!