The wind shook me awake from a dream that I could not remember. It was violent. The wind I mean, not the dream, or maybe the dream was too. I still cannot remember, but the dream is not important anyway. I lay there half-awake, like an automaton listening, whistling along with the wind’s carrying-on. The TV was still on, but there was no signal from the Dish satellite, just an eerie gray/green background with words“acquiring signal” or something like that. I stretched to turn on the lamp, but crashed to an abrupt stop on the floor. Then the alarm clock rang. It all seemed like a dream. Maybe it was; who knows? I am still confused, but too tired to sort it out in my head now. What a way to start a day…
Later on, I was working on a project in the Schoolhouse when a note that Frankie, one of the wonderful ladies that I have the privilege of working with, had posted on our office wall jumped out at me. It was a quote by Hallerin Hilton Hill. “Welcome to this brand new day. This day has never been lived before.” I finished the afternoon hung-up on those words. “So in other words,” I thought to myself, “every new day is the beginning of the rest of my life.” Kind of disconcerting to think that today marks the beginning of my end, but on the happier side of things, I am spending what could be my last days at Whitestone for the time being. What a coincidence for me to have realized this when here…or was it?
Whitestone has allowed me to see the importance of living each day with, well, the upmost fervency. In doing so, I have taken a key step towards making a difference in others, so Paul tells me. The author of Ecclesiastes, alleged to be King Solomon, wrote, “Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.” I study those words and ask myself, “Aaron, are your giving your best? Are you striving for excellence?” I try and hold myself accountable to this standard every day, and when I look around here at Whitestone, that’s all I see: people giving their best. I see the pride they take in doing their part, desiring to make Whitestone “a sanctuary for the soul” for all who come.
So, now let me tie in all of the above words together. The first paragraph has nothing to do with the overall theme, just another one of my Whitestone memories. The second paragraph is my realization that for everyday we live, we are that much closer to our last one. The third paragraph is a suggestion that if we want to make a difference we can begin by doing our tasks well. Now I bring them together to suggest that if we live our lives everyday like it is our last, doing everything we do to the best of our ability, we can make not just “a” difference but we can make “the” difference in the lives of people all around us.
I write to you today from Paul’s living room as I look out on Watts Bar Lake. A storm stirs. Deer graze. Hawks soar. Rabbits dart. The wind croons. Serenity, tranquility, and stillness, they find me here. Peace looks after me. I rest at ease, and I am trying to do it well. -Aaron Robert