I am a hunter of beauty, seeker of the good, collector of joy, but I do not live blind to the darkness and ignorant of trouble. Life is light and dark, beautiful and ugly, a mix on repeat daily, intersecting, and even parallel. The presence of one does not erase the other.
We delight in one and proclaim it to all and we shake under the other and hide. Tonight, as my fingers flutter over white keys, I wonder if doing the latter gives it a greater power. Because, a bad day right now doesn’t delete the three great ones prior and I think that living, real living means acknowledging both.
Right now, the windows are open and the air is thick with the weight of humidity and late July. It’s slimy and unattractive and your breathing feels harder.
It’s heavy and I’m not just talking about the air.
There’s car trouble, which also means money and another round of trusting in God 101 for the 1,000th time, and long hot days, and normal trials of parenting and other grown up things, when you dream about long quiet vacations. There’s all the work you pour into new ventures and dreams and days when you think, really is this worth it, because I’m exhausted (and like buttons don’t translate into currency). And seven weeks into looking for a new church, where you walk into a place where everyone else is playing a role and you’re supposed to guess what happens next, like one of those games you played at youth group parties, except it’s not a game and it’s not with your friends. Oh, your friends, you miss them, but that is always. It’s awkward and new and challenging and hot because, it’s hot everywhere. And it seems like as of late you’ve been spending more time in front of your cupboards trying to create magic out of completely non-magical ingredients. And if that isn’t enough, ANTS.
A long breath.
None of the above is a true tragedy, except for the ants, I know. But, together they feel so heavy and thick like the air outside and you whisper prayers for a sweet, cool breath that reaches deep inside and dances over you with comfort. And you try to focus on all the good and beautiful that also fill your days, like how she crocks her head to the side and smiles at you with those blue baby eyes or how your little boy comes to your desk and says, Did you make that mama? Great job and you want to scoop him up for knowing just the right thing to say at age 3. And how in less than two months you will celebrate five years of marriage to the one next to you, who is also tired, as you make this life together. Together and tired, until death to us part, should probably be added to the vows.
Life. It’s beautiful and real and challenging and at times, heavy.
Heavy is not the same as horrible and unbearable. Heavy is hard.
Everywhere I turn I read something that clenches my soul and says, I know, I’m here, I am with you. I find it in a song, or a scripture or words I read or paint on a canvas. I do not feel alone or forsaken. No.
I think so often people try to ignore the existence of heavy, because it’s negative or bad. I don’t agree. To embrace right now and admit my humanity is equally as much a part of the story as the happy ending. All the elements of the plot are crucial. So, I do not tremble or question my foundation when I say right now is hard.
Because I know that seasons change, in colors outside my door and in life and I know the air will turn soft and cool and sweet once again. Life is like that, always changing, shaping, growing, making us stronger, and enriching our story.
The air is heavy tonight, but the dusk has brought in the slightest breeze. It’s barely cool, but cooler, indeed.
and also, we are intrepid, we carry on.
“You pray for wonderful, honest, gritty, tender stories to write, but then you have to live through them.”
-Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines
Linking up with Just Write.