(Cross-posted from Running for the love of it.)
Last night I heard the news of a friend's death. It hit me hard; I felt stunned and disoriented, as if I'd been sucker punched by a stranger on the street. The news had gone around earlier in the day on Facebook, but I'd been busy and focused at work, and I'd completely missed it.
So the first I heard of it was while I sat waiting for my enchilada at Guzman y Gomez, nibbling on jalapeños and sipping a frozen margarita, and flicking away from a rather frustrating Skype conversation with some developers. Messages in his memory flooded my stream; I sent a few messages back and forth with some friends and then wandered around the CBD in a daze, struggling to come up with what a few hours earlier had seemed like a very simple public transport plan.
Roger was a permanent feature at Glasshouse events, and several other events in Australia. He was very much a part of my extended running family. He was a quirky runner—everyone had heard of his shirt-in-the-bucket trick—and humble, too. Many of us expected him to pass us (or just be ahead from start to finish) but he never made a fuss about it.
I'm generally pretty good at letting go of things. I dropped my bike the other day and I'm spewing to have damaged it, but ultimately I recognise that it's just a bike, a thing. Its perfect condition was only ever going to be temporary.
I am reminded that life, too, is temporary.
I am reminded that there is no guarantee of tomorrow. There is no guarantee of later today. There is only now.
If I want the important people in my life to know I love them, there is only now.
If I want to run another beautiful step, there is only now.
If I want to eat a scoop of gelato, even though it's 9 p.m. on a cold, windy night in Brisbane, there is only now—which I like to think is why so many people were queued up last night to do exactly that.