One early morning, I sat at my desk, a notebook in front of me, a stack of books on my left, and big, hot tears running down my face. I was thinking about how fast the decades have flown by, aware of how our perception of time changes as we age.
Years ago, my granddaughter wore “eye retainers” at night to hold her rapidly worsening eye disease at bay. Once they were in place, she couldn’t do anything except close her eyes and sleep. She told me, “I’ve lost one of the things I love most—being able to fall asleep reading.” She was mourning the loss of her beloved ritual, and the next morning it was still heavy on her heart.
This morning, I’m thinking about my daughter, Sara, whose birthday is today. How did these decades fly by so swiftly? Years go too fast now, and I mourn the fragility of human life on this cold winter morning.
Sometimes you feel like you’re free-falling and stuck in the chute simultaneously.
Time is altered—hours fly by, and minutes last forever.
Pain and abandon dance together.
Words that never healed scream out, coming in gasps between sobs.
What will become of me if I cannot repair the brokenness?
Anger and cries for help share sentences as losses are mourned.
Then, helplessness and hopefulness mix together,
and the mourning gives way to a new morning.
My hands are wrapped around my mug of tea. I can hear the 6:30 train in the distance. I listen to it over the sound of the heating system. I miss the warm weather, especially at the start of a new day, knowing that I can’t sit outside to think, pray, read, and write. Mourning losses in the morning.
Without challenges—trials and struggles—can we truly appreciate joy? If it’s always been “easy,” can we be thankful for what we have? Without knowing unhappiness, can we truly understand “happiness”? Having never experienced pain, can we be grateful for being pain-free?
We settle into what’s comfortable.
A bird barrels to the ground then, at the last moment,
glides gracefully back to the sky.
How often are we like that bird—
feeling as if we’re going to crash and then,
at the last moment, again taking flight?
I wonder when I’ve grown the most. Was it in my youth when energy and enthusiasm coursed through my veins—excited to take on the world?
Was it as a young mother, laughing, singing, praying, and watching over gifts that I learned, too soon, were only on loan? Was it in the height of my career when I’d “made it” and believed the sky was the limit?
No…growth came from gain and loss, from new life and death—tangible and intangible—from experiences that were amazing and horrific, from living and evolving and becoming of age.
So, as another year comes to a close, I’m aware of how miraculous yet tenuous life is. I wonder how I can stand on the precipice of joy and sorrow on the same day and am amazed when I can be fully human yet completely spirit-filled at the same moment. And, because of those juxtapositions, I know I am blessed.
I am grateful to be on this journey with you. May 2021 bring you health, wisdom, joy, and, of course, peace.