I had other things to share with you this week. The usual Cozycakes posts–the recipes, the Munchie moments. The things I love.
But recent weeks have been filled with a lot of life. Real life. Laughter, tears. Highs and lows. I’ve seen blessings in abundance and questioned the hard stuff handed to those I love. Emotional turbulence. My senses have been on overdrive. Exhausted from warming moments I wish I could experience again and again, and worn down from others that are lasting, etched on my heart. Tender and painful, they’re now a part of me.
As humans, we experience a myriad of emotions accompanying and born of the multitude of occasions, circumstances, and events of each day of our lives. It’s amazing, really.
Just these past few weeks, I’ve witnessed unsolicited gestures of kindness. Of friendship, family, and love. I’ve seen affecting scenes of sorrow and grief. Then turned my head to rest my tired eyes on a giggling 5-year old discovering, exploring, and soaking in the simple joys of everyday life.
I’ve heard the crush of heartache, felt the bite of sympathy, the piercing burn of empathy. I’ve cried alone on long walks. Wept silently with my hand over the phone receiver while speaking to someone shrouded in pain hundreds of miles away. Shed a duet of tears for a friend by my side. Then wiped the tears of another with the soft cotton of my sleeve, tried to halt them with understanding words.
I’ve squealed and hurrahed, clapped my hands excitedly when a chubby faced little girl reached a milestone after hours of determination and self-imposed hard work. I’ve been the recipient of hundreds of bear hugs from the same child. I’ve returned the embrace more times than I can keep track of.
Accepted an unexpected hug from a new friend who took a guess and chance that I needed one. I laughed at texts from family and friends who pop in and out of my day so that I feel they’re sitting next to me at the kitchen counter as I sip my cup of tea. I’ve thrown my head back in uncontrollable laughter in the company of someone who insists we share the good and the bad. Celebrated friendship and unbreakable bonds with her over indulgent entrees and unnecessary desserts.
I caught a glimpse of grief in the eyes of a man who reveals so little of what happens beneath the surface. It was there, I blinked and it was gone. Heard the crack in the voice of another man who swallowed quickly and returned to his stalwart self.
I asked for help from a woman who turns away no one in need, and saw grace and compassion flow from her to others she’s doesn’t know. I felt the warmth of family who do not share my blood, but choose to treat me as their own. Then nursed the ache of homesickness, the longing for the embrace, the comfort of the company of those who raised me, who share what pumps through my body, who know me as their own.
I read a note of such unwavering hope in what I had unfairly decided was someone’s moment of despair. I felt infused with faith and awe. I yearned for their expectations of healing and victory.
I sung lyrics to love songs, loudly and unlovely, danced in the kitchen. I swallowed the pill of regret, soothed a frightened child in the night, spoke words of frustration and anger, encouragement, comedy. Held the hand of the one who infuses a necessary sense of calm in my chaos.
I mourned someone I never met and yet another I knew for only a short time. Absorbed the relief of forgiveness. I rejoiced over the most precious gift I’ve been entrusted with.
I felt overwhelmed by it all. Appreciative, but weakened. Grateful, but saddened. Hopeful, but hesitant.
And then something touched my shoulder while I walked beneath the cloudy skies yesterday. My loyal four-legged companion by my side, the cold breezes penetrating my sweater, music flowing from headphones and beating in my chest.
I felt a warmth on my back during the sunless morning and I continued. I let the full, raw, cleansing tears fall while the music played. I prayed, eyes open. I prayed my thanks. I prayed for guidance. I prayed for healing. My vision blurred, my steps quick.
And the warmth remained just below my neck, down my left shoulder. I played so many moments of the past weeks in my head. The good, the bad, the very ugly, the stunning.
And if I look back and am honest with myself, I can uncover something beautiful and pure in every moment because the human spirit is a work of art. Our design has no competition, no match.
I felt the tug of the leash and, as I turned for home, I felt the hand of God on me. I felt His embrace. I prayed that it would stay with me and that I could share it with others. In the lovely moments of life. In the painful moments we could do without.
These moments, they’re fleeting. The days pass so quickly despite those dreaded instances that stretch longer than we prefer. I want to find the flawless moments hidden in the miserable ones, the grim ones. I want to wrap my arms around my loved ones and any who long to feel the warmth. I want to cherish each fleeting moment. Like hummingbirds at the feeder I can see from my window, I gasp at their arrival and let out a content, resigned sigh when they vanish seconds later.
But in my mind I can replay the moment I spot and lock on to their fluttering. I can see the brilliant colors of their smooth feathers, see the whizzing of their bodies despite their speed. I can see the shape of their beak as I imagine the pinprick blood droplet the pointy tip might draw. I soak it in and replay it when I wish.
I want that for all the little moments, the beautiful moments, the moments filled with caring, love, grace, heart. I want to stop and gasp at them, memorize them, and release a gentle sigh at their modest beauty. Then press the play button and watch it all unfold again and again and again. I want to find those moments layered in the unsightly ones. I want to live full and hard.
Because I have been gifted something amazing, a life all my own, and I want to catch the fleeting in my hand, pull it close to me, open my fist, set it free, and wait for the next good thing.