Elizabeth Sherrill recounts an incredible story of why we should always live in the present.
- Posted on Aug 26, 2014
This is the day which the Lord has made.... Psalm 118:24 (RSV)
Robert Frost opened the door of his hotel room, wearing a white shirt open at the neck, his white hair a wild aureole around his head. His huge hand enclosed mine gently; even at eighty it was clear he was cautious not to grip too strongly.
My husband and I set up in the corner as Frost talked about his youth as a bobbin boy in a textile mill and about turning down the headmastership of the school in New Hampshire where he taught: “It would have killed the poetry in me.”
At the end of our time together, he picked up a book and, turning the pages, began reading the tragic final segments of “The Hired Man.” The eyes beneath the great brows, I noticed, never looked down at the book; he was reciting from memory.
And we have this recorded! I kept thinking. My mind raced ahead to all the times we would listen to it again, all the people we would share it with. He’d reached the end of the long, dramatic narrative when I glanced at our recorder.
A great steel spaghetti-snarl sprawled across the floor, the wire had skipped its track. I’d scarcely listened to this private, once-in-a-lifetime recital. So intent had I been, fantasizing about some future event, that I’d missed the unrepeatable moment itself.
It’s been a reminder to me ever since that now is the only time we ever really have.
Help me live this day, Father, as if there were no other.