Every morning the sun rises and every evening the sun sets. It happens every day, everywhere. Sometimes the time in between the sunrise and sunset is longer, sometimes, it’s shorter, but on average it rounds out to about twelve hours of daylight. Yesterday the sun rose here at 7:18 AM and set at 7:38 PM. We had twelve hours and twenty minutes of daylight in between sunrise and sunset, of course there was a bit more light in the dawn and dusk periods.
The dash. It’s what happens in between which matter most. I remember reading an article about the poem, “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. The poem is about a eulogy and what is most important in our lives, what happens in the time between when we are born and when we die. It’s a wonderful, and deep, concept to consider. However, it’s more important to live life rather than think about it.
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end
Yesterday morning I was up early for the sunrise. I made my coffee and watched patiently as the sun rose above the horizon. Slowly sipping my coffee, I snapped 85 photos in the 43 minutes from first to last photo. That is a short dash, but much happened in between, the sun’s rays were visible well before the sun broke the horizon and finally appeared above the cloudbank in the east.
Yesterday afternoon we took a trip to one of our favorite beaches, Bahia Honda State Park. We visit the beach every time we are here.
Much has happened in between that first visit, and now. In all of our lives – my life, my wife’s life, W and O’s lives, as well as the life of our family. It’s shaped who we are and how we look at the world.
For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
We had a wonderful time at the beach. We arrived late in the day and the beach was mostly ours. It was low tide and the beach was wide. We staked our space and settled in. O and I built a sand castle. B watched as we constructed, then walked the beach searching for seashells, then we all took an ocean dip. It was a wonderful time. O was reluctant to leave as she was having such a good time in the surf.
The tide had begun to rise and by the time we packed our things and readied to return home the water’s edge was a few feet from our spot. I had scribbled Making the Days Count dot org in the sand earlier and when we left the tide had erased my mark.
— Clay Watkins (@makingdayscount) March 28, 2017
I started the car and drove along the shoreline toward the park exit. When we got to the exit, I asked,
“Can we drive down to look at the bridge?”
“Sure,” they replied.
They gave in because I always want to see the bridge, the old bridge over the Bahia Honda Channel. The bridge was constructed for the Overseas Railway in the early part of the Twentieth Century. When the railway ceased operations after the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935, Florida used the bridge as a highway bridge. The original highway was replaced in the 1980s but the original bridge still stands beside the modern bridge.
I parked and we got out. B and O searched the shore looking for shells and I grabbed the camera to capture the sunset. I captured another 80 images of the sun’s journey to the end of the day. B and O both stopped to watch.
When the sun had set, we returned to our car and headed east home. We finished our day at one of our favorite spots for dinner – Key Fisheries. It was a good dinner and we enjoyed the time eating together and O enjoyed feeding the fish.
We unloaded the car and I was tired, so was O, but she insisted on trying her hand at fishing the surf line when we returned to our condo and I watched as she cast her line into the sea. She caught a small fish and tossed it back, eventually she gave up for the night.
That was yesterday. A lot happened in the dash of yesterday. I watched the sun rise this morning and I’ll likely see the sun set this evening, but I’ll live the dash. I do every day.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
Making the Days Count is all about the dash. It is what happens in between the beginning and the end which is most important. Today is gonna be a great day, in many ways it already is, but there is a lot of life left in the day – the rest of the morning, snorkeling this afternoon, and the evening. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one small part of the dash in between.
What will you do with your part of the dash today?
Note: the poem, The Dash, is copyrighted material. For the entire poem follow this link.