“Does anyone ever realize life?”


As I overhead a Niagara-on-the-Lake resident remark in July, at the height of her Canadian resort-town’s summer season: “Any day now we’ll all be talking about the polar vortex again!”


This glorious summer is coming to an end. Farmers’ market peaches are mealy and sad, now, for instance. Did I truly appreciate every peach I ate in July, in August? I wonder. And remember, as I always do when I ask this Did I Truly Appreciate XYZ question, that precious, poignant moment at the end of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town:

EMILY: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

STAGE MANAGER: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”

I remember the first time I saw Our Town—sitting beside my mother at a small and shabby community theater in Lynchburg, Virginia. I was fifteen or sixteen. I remember, hearing the Stage Manager’s answer, promising to myself that night: “will! I will always live my life, ‘every minute,’ with intention, with gratitude, with focus.” (If I’d known the word “mindfulness” I would have added it to my mental list. But I hadn’t. Not at that age. And not in segregated, conservative, sleepy Lynchburg.)

But I haven’t.


Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia! I just so love this fantabulous blog post article of yours, as well as your other inspiring and brilliant ones! You are such a wordsmith, sister! You have a way of expression which is very finely attuned and right on point! I, too, like you say a huge, “Sigh” with the waning days of summer. I don;t like the shorter days.The days getting dark so early make me have even less energy when I have energy and fatigue issues as it is with my multiple disabilities. I love long summer days when the sun comes up so early in all of its glorious brilliance, and when it stays light outside until very late. Oh, well! We will just have to wait until next year (SMILE!). My favorite seasons are spring, fall, winter, then summer. I love how there are pretty flowers and longer days in summer, with lovely colorful birds fluttering from here to there in all of their summer variety,but I don;t like the humidity I get in the summer here in Iowa. Where I grew up in Ohio the summers were very hot and humid as well. Oh, my dear and precious sister, Patricia, I pray so desperately that Iowa does not get the same kind of brutal winter which we had this past winter! Wow, was it a fierce winter! I hope and pray that your upcoming winter in Somerville, Massachusetts is not brutal as well, my white sister!

    I am going to miss those tasty and delectable summer fruits as well, Patricia! Like you do, I love peaches. They are so very delicious and tantalizingly juicy! I love plums and nectarines also. The only way I can get through winter even though I love snow up to a certain point is because of all of the holidays associated with winter. I love Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, The Rev, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, and my birthday in February. These events sure help me to cope with the great blast of cold in the winter.

    I have not yet had the pleasure of reading Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. I will have to check this out-this sounds like a spectacular read! I, too, make it my spiritual goal to live my life every minute, with intention, and with gratitude and a with a more precise and intentional focus toward greater mindfulness, Patricia! You give me and your other readers such inspirational ideas and wisdom toward spiritual enhancement, Sister! You are our eternal blessing!

    I wish you such great joys and blessings along your life’s journey in realizing life and your Divine purpose from our Good Spirit! I pray and wish for you a very nice, special, and a very blessed Wednesday, my dear and precious white Sister who you are so, so very much as an ally and in solidarity, Patricia!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely Always,

    Your lesbian black sister in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

  2. My parents were married in Lynchburg, VA, in 1932. I still have many first cousins who live in Lynchburg and my Danville home is 60 miles south of there. I also attended my freshman year at Lynchburg College prior to returning to Ohio to finish my education. Just wanted to share another connection with you.

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