Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lost Opportunities

Yesterday, after hiking around Maroon Bells for a few hours, I was ready to hike down to a bus pick-up spot and I was looking for the trail head when I spotted an older man quietly sitting and looking at the view. There was something about him that stopped me ... he looked so peaceful and serene. I asked him if I could take a picture of him and he smiled and said yes. So, I took my picture and moved on.

Today it hit me that I missed an opportunity. In my haste to capture every bit of shimmering yellow and make my way down the mountain, I missed an opportunity to meet someone who looked like he had wisdom to share. I missed a connection. I saw that man not as a person but only as an image. Several years ago I wrote a poem about time and how I did not have time to not slow down. Obviously, I have not learned that lesson yet. I know I will never see that man again and that opportunity is irretrievably lost ... but I can keep the lesson he inadvertently taught me once again, and which showed up in this poem:

My Lost Brother

My brother,
I'm sorry I did not stop to talk.
I'm sorry I did not stop to hear your heart.

In my rush to be on my way,
I simply snapped my photo and
added another image to my collection.

I did not see you truly sitting there
willing to share your wisdom,
waiting to explore our connection.

Too late now, I know
that you are my brother and
you held a priceless gift for me.

My brother, while we will never know
our linkage to each other, I promise
to never again rush past an outstretched hand.

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