#4: We are only here for a while

A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted - Ecc 3:2 Click To Tweet

We live on a street which is lined with oak trees, some of which are over a hundred years old. In the summer, these trees form a canopy over our street, creating a spectacular tunnel effect with sunlight filtering through the leaves. Although we love travelling, coming back home to this scenery is always an appealing thought.

Autumn Sunset Inspirational Life Lessons, Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea – Photo Credit: Emily Yang

 

Every year, autumn interrupts this green parade. The leaves die and wither away. Harsh winds sweep in from the Atlantic; stripping everything bare in their wake, including our lovely trees. In autumn, nature teaches us that beauty is transient and that life is fleeting. Like our beautiful green leaves, we are only here for a moment; here today and gone tomorrow.

We too experienced poignant loss in 2015. Close family friends lost battles with cancer while their loved ones could only look on helplessly. Other friends came close to death but survived and are rebuilding their lives. We had a narrow escape from tragedy ourselves on our trip to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka and are deeply grateful that there was no loss.

Autumn Sunset Inspirational Life Lessons, Beckenham

Even more heart rendering was the constant stream of bad news across the globe arising from the needless loss of life caused by extremist activities. From the United States to Australia, no part of the globe seemed to be spared from the march of this new evil, threatening the freedom we sometimes take for granted as travellers (see this great post from Dave & Deb of thePlanetD).

Autumn Sunset Inspirational Life Lessons, Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea – Photo Credit: Emily Yang

 

In all of this madness, we were encouraged to see the power of the human spirit, to encourage, to forgive and to eventually find a way to heal.

Travel blogger Liza Tait-Bailey, in trying to make sense of pain and sadness writes: “And in those situations across the news where other’s stories of pain are so heart breaking, look for the helpers. There will always be people trying to do good against the odds and we must support them and keep up hope. Or, better yet, be a helper yourself. There is so much we can do to bring more kindness into the world on a micro and macro scale, and I personally believe that it’s becoming more and more important to be a positive and brightening influence. Just ask yourself: what can I do today?”

Autumn Sunset Inspirational Life Lessons, Kurumba, Maldives

One travel blogger who knows a thing or two about experiencing loss is Heather Mason, an American in Johannesburg who blogs at 2Summers. Following the loss of her partner, Heather’s healing process included encouraging others to capture moments with their loved ones. Hear her: “…I’d like to offer a piece of advice to everyone reading this. Find a video camera – almost everyone has one these days – and then go find the person you love most: your husband, your wife, your son, your girlfriend, your mom – whoever. Tell that person you love her, and record it. Ask her to do the same for you. Don’t wait. Do it right now.

Question: Have you experienced personal loss recently? How have you dealt with and recovered from it? Please do share below.