It’s late, and I am the only one left awake, except for the crickets chirping through the open window. I should be in bed, I am certainly tired enough for it.
But before I close my eyes tonight, there is a thing in my heart, a bubble of emotion that strains against my chest, and I know I must sit here in the solitary quiet of the night and feel it.
I don’t really know where to start. It will sound silly to say, but I will try anyway.
I took the oldest three kids to a birthday party tonight at a skating rink. None of them had ever really been skating before, so it required a lot of hand holding and encouraging. It was wild, and my poor flip-flopped feet were in great peril in the sea of tweens and wobbly kids in forty pound skates.
I probably didn’t have to do what I did. But oh, I wanted to. So I marched up to the counter, bought a pair of socks, and asked for a pair of size 9s.
I put on those skates, and that bubble in my heart grew.
The night turned out so differently that I expected. I was sort of dreading it to be honest. I’d much rather be at home, vegging out with a good drama and my guy. I may have even been a bit sulky about it, if I was to be REALLY truthful about it. Funny how it’s those moments that life turns around on you. The moment I had those skates on and I felt the wind in my hair, I flew. I was just happy to BE. I’m thirty six years old, and maybe I should have felt silly, but I just couldn’t be anything but happy.
Those moments happen when I’m not looking. When I’m not asking.
Like on an Easter afternoon and I’m called in to double dutch on the jump rope. So I kick of my flip flops and my feet get dirty but I don’t care because I’m moving and laughing and just being me. I’m not taking pictures or ironing clothes for the next day or doing anything but just jumping. Just being. For a minute, it’s simply about the joy of BEING.
Or when I put on my headphones and spread the drop cloth and drag my saddest furniture out into the yard. I wave my magic wand and dance around with my electric sander and paint roller and wonder what the neighbors possibly think of me. Not having to care about that is almost as marvelous as the transformation happening in the sunny afternoon.
To move, to live, to create, to laugh. To be able to BE in this life with the people I love. To photograph beautiful things, to do things with my own two hands, to hear my children sing, to laugh, to REALLY laugh, when they tease me or make a joke, to feel something, to know who I am underneath everything life requires of me, to still be me and have all these unbelievably good things…
It’s in those moments when I can really SEE my life, I can see how fast it’s passing, how wonderful it is, how blessed I am with every single breath. I am overwhelmed.
It is too much for one heart. It bubbles out. It keeps me up on a quiet night.
I don’t know what the world will say about me when I’m gone. I don’t know what memories will last, I don’t know what words will remain, I don’t know what pictures will last the years. But when all those things fade away, (and they will, won’t they friend? It all does) I hope the last thing remembered of me is that I had the joy of the Lord all my days. I hope I leave trails of it. Marks and whispers, a tiny wake of joy, for a little while anyway. Just until we’re all together again and joy isn’t measure by lifetimes anymore, but by eons and eternity.
So, now it looks like I’m off to bed. The bubble presses lighter now, and sleep a little nearer. Good night, all. Sweet dreams.