In the summer of 1981 I had a Ziggy calendar on my bedroom wall. I was waiting for my mission assignment, wondering where in the whole wide world I’d be sent. When the letter finally arrived and I opened it and read “South Africa” I was thrilled beyond words. As I flipped the large calendar to the next month, there sat Ziggy, on what looked like the edge of the world, looking out over ocean in every direction as the sun set. The caption said:
We should enjoy here while we’re here . . .
. . . ‘Cause there’s no here, there!
That calendar page spoke volumes to me as I prepared that summer and fall to leave my family and childhood home and go live in Africa. I took that poster-sized page with me and hung it in every flat and apartment I lived in during the next 18 months on that tip of the world. After that it went with me to Nigeria for my next 3 years, and after that to my cozy Salt Lake apartment where it hung until I moved into my first home. I met John the day after I bought that house in 1990. That must have been when Ziggy finally came down, as we married and I moved into his Orem home.
But I haven’t forgotten Ziggy’s words. I think of them often, as I have over the years. I still have that poster, tucked away with my treasures. There’s a photo of it somewhere in my crashed computer. If my files are ever restored, I’ll attach a photo of Ziggy here. His words are profound and have been life-changers for me.
This week another batch of kids is graduating. John and I are leaving tomorrow evening for the Cayman Islands with a bunch of them heading out on their Senior Trip. We were invited to help chaperone these young friends from our neighborhood. I imagine there will be moments when each of them will look off into the sunset from that tip of the world, wondering what their futures will hold. Five of the young men going have already received mission calls. Perhaps some of the girls will also go, like I did after that summer of 1981.
I doubt any of them will ask me for my advice about their futures. But if they do, I will share what I learned from Ziggy and hope they will live every moment to its fullest.