I read an article this morning on elephantjournal.com entitled “Die and Live?” that spoke of life and death, plans for the author’s (Roger Wolsey) funeral, living in the present moment, and it ended with a list of Roger’s things he will miss about life when he dies. I’ve often contemplated my own death – ever since I can remember I’ve been intrigued by death and more specifically, the cessation of life. It’s not that I have a death wish – though that’s not to say that I never did, but that’s a different blog post – but it’s more a fascination with the mechanisms that we label as life (basic individual cellular metabolism- ATP, glucose-6-phosphate, ion channels, etc.; and then cell-cell signaling to make it work on a systemic scale)..and subsequently the cessation of those mechanisms which we label as death, followed by the decomposition of the physical organic matter we call our body. In addition to contemplating the physical aspect of death, I often ‘plan’ my funeral services – wishes I’d currently like to be fulfilled (and of course, these change over time as my views on life change).

But I digress.. back to the article in question. The point of it all is to identify those things in life which truly matter to you, what your priorities are, and how to appreciate the present moment – because truth be told, it’s all we have. I love making lists, but I realized as often as I contemplate death and my dying, I never made a list of things which I’ll miss about life. I found this to be a great exercise in gratitude, appreciation, and in the psychology of myself. Roger decided to make this list as part of his Lenten ritual..and while I don’t partake of Lent, I think a once-a-year reevaluation of self and that which you appreciate is not a bad thing. Just as we turn a new leaf at New Year’s, reflecting on the past.. perhaps we can reflect on our future inevitability to appreciate the present. So here is my first, and hopefully annual list, of things I will miss about life. I recommend you give it a try yourself. :)

**in no particular order**

Things I Will Miss About Life (2011)

*The vibrancy of the colors at the onset of spring just before the first blooming (the first release of pollen).
*The smell of toast, and fresh baked bread.
*Making a cup of tea.
*The first sip from a fresh cup/pot of tea.
*The first breath in Savasana – that initial release.
*The last few breaths in Savasana – the reawakening.Supta Kurmasana
*The stillness at the moment just following the cessation of the OM before the next inhale is taken.
*Post-pranayama bliss.
*Supta Kurmasana.
*Laughter in surround sound created by a group of loved ones.
*A broken heart.
*A pain-filled cry because the ache in my heart is too intense to contain, and thereby becoming satisfying.
*Kissing the corner of the eyebrow on a lovers face.
*Being greeted by my dog upon arrival home with ecstatic joy (and returning that joy in kind).
*The smile on a dog – any dog.
*Baking for sharing.
*Thunderstorms in the afternoon.
*The ocean in all it’s physical and metaphorical nature.
*The Mr.’s salsa.
*The smell of a freshly mowed lawn in the hot summertime.
*The sound of an antique mantle clock.
*Going weak in the knees (literally) from the intensity of a lovers kiss.
*Acoustic guitar.
*Having my hair washed lovingly by another.
*The melancholy, joy, sensuality, depression, excitement inspired by music.
*The under-rumble and half-wimpers of a dog dreaming.
*Dancing.
*Stilettos.
*The musky scent of a man (and by extension, the greasy smell of a man who has been working in the garage).
*The smell of whiskey on a man.
*The smell of Autumn when it begins.
*Sharing the perfect cup of tea with a best friend.
*The rare moments I realize I truly love myself, letting go of all my self-flagellation, self-loathing, self-expectations.
*The comfort of a dog resting their head on my ankles or waist.
I did notice a theme – friends, laughter, love, the in-between moments.. and that which stimulates the senses. The sounds of things, the sights, the tastes, the smells..and the subsequent emotions those senses inspire. In essence these are all things that inspire comfort and joy in my heart (yes, even the conventionally labeled ‘sad’ ones). Because what is living if you can’t experience it in it’s entirety..not just live it, but experience it.~I wish you Experiential Living!
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