Not long ago, I had a sort Robert Frost moment. I was in Bristol visiting the in-laws.
I decided to take a path I had never walked before. The path led me through a big playing field bordered by houses and a cemetery. I always get a sense of my own mortality whenever I come across a cemetery. I see the rows and rows of neatly lined grave stones and think how many of those people got what they wanted out of life. Did they get to the end and say damn, I can’t believe it’s all over and I haven’t even done a fraction of the things I wanted to do. I never took that trip I always dreamed of. I never wrote that book or painted that picture or kissed that girl. And now I will never ever get the chance because here I stand on the doorstep of my end with no more time left to do the things I always talked about doing.
I learned on the broken stoned fence and stared at the graves. In front of me was a freshly dug grave. One I image they were going to be putting a coffin in soon. It was dug to the right dimensions. The hole was covered by a piece of plywood. One day that hole will be meant for me. I wonder what will I have done with the time I have been given?
There was one particular grave that caught my interest. Nick C was the name written on the black marble headstone. He was born in Dec 1954 and died in 2002. On his grave stone was written, “He who dies with the most toys wins and he certainly won.” There was a smaller grave stone next to it. From where I was standing, it looked like it said, “oops.” I was intrigue to know who would write “oops” on their grave stone. And what could it mean? I decided I needed to see this grave up close, so I hopped the fence and walked over to it. As it turns out the stone actually said “coops.” Of course I didn’t know what that means either, but from what the family had written on the headstone, I could only assume that this person had lived a realtively happy life.
I made my way home along a route I had never been. Even though I knew I was in no danger of being lost, I still had that feeling of wondering where the road would lead. Should I turn back and take a road I know? What if this road leads me somewhere I don’t want to be? Even as these questions raced through my mind, I still couldn’t help but continue to walk forward into the unknown. I eventually connected with a road I knew and walked on home stopping for a brief moment in “Leap Wood.” What a magical name? The sign read, “To the Friends of Leap Wood.” I paused by the little stream running through Leap Wood just to collect my thoughts.