Seven things to do before leaving

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011

1. Fully love another person. Risky? Yes. Scary? Definitely. Therein lies its value. It is in giving ourselves away we become more fully human.

2. Go see the Grand Canyon. You need not learn a foreign language nor obtain a passport. Drive, fly, walk, hitchhike, whatever, just get out there and see this unbelievable hole in the ground. I cannot stoop to the use of words in its description.

3. Hold your grandchild. I know, you might not have much to do with this one, but do what you can. Drop hints, write anonymous letter, threaten, whatever. But I’m telling you — you gotta’ get you one of these. It’s a room you never knew existed.

4. Discover God. He’s real. That’s a good place to start, just coming to the realization he actually exists. Then find others who know him. Discuss him. Read about him. You might find out you’re not after him, but he’s after you.

5. Jump in the ocean. I know, most of you have done this. But what the heck, do it again. It’s clean, simple and free. Just run right out in mid-August and dive into a 3-foot wave with no thought to your hair getting messed up, or what you look like in a bathing suit. Then point your face towards the sun and say “ahhhhhhhhhh.”

6. Dance. Who cares whether you know all the steps? Learn to feel the music and go with it. Lose yourself. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking others are watching you.

7. Watch a sunset all the way through. I know — you must cook supper or the clothes need washing or the grass needs mowing. There will always, always be something else to do. Shove all that stuff aside and watch one of the greatest shows on earth. Slow down enough to let it speak to you.

Well, here are my seven. I’ll probably think of seven more as I lay down my pen.

What would you say? I want to know. In fact, I want to print them.

Send your responses to by Sunday evening. We’ll print the best next week (it doesn’t have to be eight!). Looking forward to hearing from you!

Rex Alphin is a farmer, businessman and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is