We go to school. We hug our children. We feel the soft skins of our lovers. We go running. We listen to music. We go to our jobs. We taste our favorite foods. We enjoy our freedom.
These moments, these fragments, these accessories come together and form the big pictures we know as our lives. They form our timelines – birth, school, job, and everything in between. We live. We make plans and expect our timelines to go according to those plans.
We’re so, understandably, accustomed to our ways of life that we don’t even imagine not being able to see, smell, hear, touch, or taste. We couldn’t picture not being able to speak or listen to music. It’s difficult to imagine life without legs. We rarely think about the possibility of something screwing up our routines, messing up our timelines, or shaking up our lives.
But what happens if something does shake up our lives?
One can lose his job. Another can lose his father. One can become paralyzed. Another can be unsure of her career. One can get cancer. Another’s country could be under attack.
And then, unexpected things are added to our timelines. Birth, school, uncertainty, job, and everything in between. Birth, hopelessness, school, job, and everything in between. Birth, school, job, grief, and everything in between.
So, when we’re in the midst of tragedy, grief, hopelessness, or uncertainty, how will we know that everything will be okay? When we lose ourselves in tragedy, what will bring comfort to our souls?
I’ve found comfort in shoes and many of life’s accessories.
We’re not entitled to education, families, happiness, or jobs. We’re entitled to our organs and our unalienable rights. Anything else would be under the “accessories” category. When it comes to our lives, accessories, like peanut butter or a loving embrace, play a more important role than we realize.
In those times when we lose ourselves in hopelessness and fear, in idleness and uncertainty, in routine and regularity, we can thank God that we can find reassurance in a loving embrace.
Or a kind gesture. Or a familiar smile. Or a painting. Or a song. Or a prayer.
Let’s not forget chocolate.
And stethoscopes. And nail polish. And movies. And earphones. And inside jokes. And guitars. And books.
We must always remember that all of these things – the subtleties, the quirks, the accessories which we assume only complement our days – are actually here for a much bigger, more beautiful purpose. They are here to enhance the quality of our lives.
Not to say that chocolate, earphones, or books are the pure, unadulterated sources of life’s quality; but maybe, the absence of these accessories – or perhaps, the mere appreciation of them – will spark some sort of gratitude for the lives that are lived. And when we are grateful for life, for existence, for breath, for a heartbeat, the quality of our lives are enhanced because we will not take life, or its accessories, for granted.