Even in the stillest, whitest, coldest part of winter, when it feels like life will never return, it does eventually stop snowing.
And if we stop for a moment, we see it actually looks beautiful out.
The sun finally returns.
The river begins to thaw.
And one day, we wake up, and the snow is gone.
The crew teams start rowing on the river again.
And without any warning, summer arrives. Temperatures shoot up from 40F to 70F overnight, and people complain about how hot it is.
But everyone is outside, life is in full swing, and people slow down and smile more.
And then, just as we get used to summer, autumn sneaks up on us again. And the cycle begins all over again.
So, what have I learned from Peter's death? We've all heard that we should live each day as if it were our last, carpe diem, etc., and I've tried to be as fearless and as open to risk as possible. What I realize now is that I also have to take good care of my body, my only vessel that will allow me to embark on adventures, backpack to countries people haven't heard of, and connect to my loved ones. It means treating it well and appreciating how good it's been to me over the years, and hoping that if I feed it and exercise it and nurture it correctly, it won't just give out on me one day.
How boring. In our 20s, we abuse our bodies, staying out late, eating whatever we want, exercising only when it's a fun hike to Halfdome or the White Mountains (okay, maybe that's just me), but I now think I won't even have a chance to go after all of my dreams if my body won't cooperate. I start to envision my 30s being filled with meals of steamed, unsalted organic brussel sprouts and no ice cream for dessert. Waking up and running/walking for twenty minutes each morning.
Instead of being bummed by this, I imagine if I start being nice to my body now, while I'm young and healthy, maybe I'll live to be 100. That should give me plenty of time to make all of my current dreams come true (and plenty of time to come up with lots of new ones), and with all of that extra time, heck, I could help make other people's dreams come true, too. Serendipity berries for everyone.