Shortness of Life


I picked some bell peppers, jalapenos, perilla leaves, and tomatoes just before dinner time to go with my spicy chicken dinner. I love that I am able to cook up dinner without going to a grocery store for over a week. I just walked to the garden to pick whatever I need, and whatever is ready to be picked. I am waiting on 8 watermelons, and there are still a couple of zucchinis coming ahead. We have a lot of peppers as well and once they all ripe and turn dark bloody red, we will dry them to make red pepper flakes which will be stored and used for Kimchi and spicy soups for years to come.

It’s so easy to feel like I am the queen of this piece of land when there is so much bounty of food. I don’t even rely on electricity because there are plenty of fire woods for cold nights and I cook on the portable gas stove outside. I have enough candles to burn for at least a few years for some dark nights. Sure, I will miss my internet, and phone services, but I know I can live without them. I will miss human connections but it’s not like that connection happens much anyways. I have been surviving on my once a week visit to my parents or my sister. One of my few friends in town is conveniently located to my very next door. When I am home, I feel safe, secure, and complete. I have total peace on most days here (as long as my hormones don’t act up occasionally).

The recent tragedies from earthquake, hurricane, and persecutions against races and ethnicity, once again, bring my attention back to the fact that everything as we know in our own small world can change in a blink of an eye. On peaceful days like today, it is easy to mistake that life will continue on like this forever. But deep down, I know that things can always change. Any day, I will receive the news that my grandmothers in Korea have passed away. Who knows, maybe I will really wake up to a tragic news that a war finally broke out in Korean peninsula (my constant source of anxiety for the past decade). Even as I enjoy my spicy chicken dinner I made this evening in my peaceful country homestead staring at the bountiful assortments of veggies picked with my own hands, I am reminded of the sudden death of the chef who provided me with this chicken recipe. He was so young. Only a little over 40 years old at the time of his passing. He died of a heart attack according to his family. A popular food blogger in Korea, he was known to so many food enthusiasts. His last post just a couple of days before his death featured beautiful photos of his garden. It was so clear that this guy was living the good life. He had all the reason to celebrate every day of his life. But it was not to last long.

The sun goes down so early in this corner where I live. At 8 pm, it is completely dark now. The leaves are already falling and changing colors. It will be unmistakably autumn very soon. Where has all those hot summer days gone? I feel like I haven’t achieved anything, but here it comes, another season, just walking right in whether I am ready or not. And so will it be when the time of death knocks on my door. Whether I am ready or not. I sit here tonight as I watch yet another wonderful late summer sunset on my deck, counting my blessing while I still can. I suddenly feel so fragile and fleeting like I am sitting on a sand castle. I truly have nothing to rely on but the grace of God. The peace from the Lord is the only cure for this quickly dying world. Life is so short. Never cease praising God for His goodness. He will deliver. These are my affirmations tonight.


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