A Tribute to Grover’s Corners

“EMILY: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”

STAGE MANAGER: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”
― Thornton Wilder, Our Town

I was only fourteen years old when I first heard these words from the magnificent play Our Town. I was too young to have made any acquaintance with death but I intuitively knew that Emily’s soliloquy held the key to the entire meaning of life. As I heard the actress on the stage say these lines, I grandly resolved that I was going to live my life differently. I was going to notice every, every minute of my life. When the end of my life came, I was not going to look back and realize I’d lived too quickly; I was not going to realize I had not participated in my own life.
But then of course, my life went flying forward. My days filled up with homework assignments and afternoon club meetings, college applications, dates and appointments. I forgot about the play and the words that had so deeply touched my heart. There were times when I paused, when I stood still and looked at the sky, but those times were terribly few, and for the most part, Emily’s words were forgotten.
However, once in a while I am reminded. I’ll see Our Town on television or in a live theatre production . . . or I’ll see the words above used in another context, and then I will stop and remember. Ah, yes. This is what it’s all about.
At those times, I stop. I look around. I take in the wonder of a darkening night sky, the cheerful way my cat swaggers up the sidewalk, the pretty freckles on my stepdaughter’s cheeks. I pause and listen to my heartbeat, smell the lilacs on a summer’s breeze, taste the cool water as it tickles my tongue. It’s all important, every last bit of it.
I share this with you today because Elana, the main character in my new novel, is a high school English teacher in a new town who is asked to direct the Senior class play, Our Town. Elana has been grieving the loss of the two loves of her life, and she clearly identifies with the themes of the script- that life is short, that time is precious, that every-every minute is important. I hope her story brings meaning and hope to your life too!

Making It Real

Stop for a moment right now and look around you. What do you want to remember about this life you are living, in this moment, right now, today?
What intention can you set for the coming months in regards to living life to its fullest, every, every minute?
Make a list of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches that you love.
You might even want to write your own “good-bye soliloquy” after listening to Emily’s famous speech from Our Town, below.

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