I spent most of today at work researching quotes about nature for a book about the great outdoors.
Copyright rules state that you can only quote from a source who has been dead for 70+ years. So I found myself in the strange position of finding a great quote and then looking up the author on Wikipedia to see when they died (hoping it was over 70 years ago).
After a while, I started reading about these people’s lives; Mark Twain… Henry David Thoreau… John Muir… Rachel Carson… Helen Keller…
As I read about their childhoods, their careers and their love lives, I was hit with the realisation that these were REAL people who once lived, just as you and I do now. These weren’t meaningless words on a screen. These were people who once had hopes and dreams, good days and bad days…
Only their moment had passed.
I found myself thinking how short our lives are. And how perhaps, one day, another researcher in a publishing company somewhere might spend the day eagerly Googling you or I to see when we died.
It was a sobering thought. But it was also inspiring and brought me up short:
Life is not a dress rehearsal. We’ve only got one shot at this. Are we, hand on heart, living life as we should?