Pluck the Day

Appreciating the little things. (This is my son's creation from a mini cucumber and blueberries.)

I still feel like I was spared 11 years ago. I've ridden plenty of airplanes. I've been to the top of the World Trade Center and lived near the Capitol. I wasn't much different from the people who lost their lives or their loved ones on 9/11. How blessed I am to be alive and to have my family members with me. I've had closer calls in my life too--times when I've survived an accident, and two times when my husband avoided being in the same building as a shooter.

The phrase Carpe Diem means more than seize the day to me (thanks to my Latin teacher.) The word carpe also means to pluck, as in "I plucked the grapes." I think of each day as a ripe fruit, ready for plucking. If we don't pick that fruit now, it's wasted. Right now, I have a bunch of zucchinis in my garden that I didn't pluck when I should have, so they're enormous and not quite as delectable. Each day of our life passes quickly, and it gets so the years are flying by. I appreciate my life more when I slow down a little to talk, take pictures, or do something fun.

After 9/11, most of us appreciated life a little more. We took time to be thankful for small things, but some of us also got up our courage to do bigger things. I've heard stories of people finally deciding to marry their lifelong love or make a career change or start to sing in front of people. I'll always be grateful for the brave men and women who decided to serve in our military.

This life is a gift in more ways than one. It's God's gift to us, but it's also our gift to others.