There’s an old song from the early 1940s entitled, “Taking a Chance on Love.” Most of us recognize the truth in that: Better to have loved and lost, etc., etc. Too many folks, however, are scared to take this idea to the next level, really to the ultimate level. The New Year provides a perfect opportunity for taking a chance on life. It’s funny really. We can examine our lives and recognize that we have made mistakes and that we have failed in the past, and we know that this is bound to happen in the future. This knowledge tends to paralyze many of us in the present, but it should free us and empower us to live boldly.
I don’t mean that everyone should learn to parachute or lay in supplies for the ascent of Mt. Everest. Heck, there are some days I have trouble ascending the stairs. It does mean, however, that we can take a chance on being kind, on being happy, on forgiving, on taking the plunge inward to really know ourselves. It means that we can take a chance on letting go of the guilt and regrets and fears that we have carried so long that we no longer realize how much those things impede our progress through Life. And, hey! We only have one shot at this. We can’t be afraid to act because we may “get it wrong.”
This summer while riding my bike along the C&O Canal, I decided that I would go further up the towpath than I had ever been. In just a few minutes, I came across the breathtaking sight of five acres of wildflowers. They were beautiful, but impossible to see at a distance because of the native trees and shrubs. For pedaling just a little further than I usually did, however, I was greatly rewarded.
Perhaps the biggest reward was the sign placed along the towpath by the farmer:
Dare to trample a few flowers in order to pick a bouquet.
Happy New Year.