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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Dec 30, 2016

After Christmas comes New Year. Yes, I have a keen grasp of the obvious, don’t I?

And as we end one year and start another, that seems to become a time to look back at the ending year and wonder about what will happen in the coming year.

One of my thoughts about last year and the next year is the increasing probability of attending more funerals. Once again, I’m stating the obvious since most of the people I know are around my age and we are all getting to those years where health problems take on more importance.

These thoughts of funerals are on my mind because I have attended several funerals this past year of family, friends and, most recently, a younger cousin who died at age 62 and about two weeks ago, the funeral of her brother at age 71. I grew up with both of them.

My mother-in-law, at 87, would probably say to me about attending more funerals as we get older, “Are you just figuring that out?”

Not only has she attended the funerals of many friends and relatives, but the funerals of her husband and a daughter.

I don’t want to dwell on this subject exclusively because I have already made my point. I believe death is a part of life, but not the end of life, just this life as we know it.

I like to think of life in terms of looking through your windshield while having a view to the rear. The rear view mirror is part of your line of sight, but only a small part of it.

That view to the rear is important because it shows us where we have come from and sometimes there are things from our past that we need to be aware of; a view to the rear is necessary and can warn us.

But the windshield shows us where we are going and what is ahead so we can prepare ourselves. And it occupies way more space than the rear view mirror because it is that important.

We can’t do much about what is behind us; only try to be prepared for what is coming.

Plus, considering I am in the driver’s seat, I am in charge of my direction and speed. Another advantage is I have some say with whom I travel. I like that part a lot.

So, yes, we talk about life being a journey and every journey has a destination. Hopefully, the destination is one of your choosing and is a place where you are looking forward to arriving.

The annual observances of the New Year are the mile markers along our journey and they can count up or down depending on how you want to count them.

So, here I sit at about 4 a.m., thinking about my journey, while I look at one highway west of me and another south of me where I see lights of vehicles all heading to a place each driver needs to be.

They don’t have time to think about windshields and mirrors and life. They probably don’t see a connection between the New Year and mile markers, either.

And when I was the ages of those drivers who are headed somewhere at 4a.m., neither did I.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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