It was only recently that I heard this said. I wish I knew who wrote it as I love the wisdom and the inspiration of it. How fitting as we celebrate this time of looking forward and looking back here at the I-Studio!
Tears of joy. Tears of sadness. We only experience these kinds of tears in the extremes of our living. The more I reflect and am thankful for my last year, I realise that perhaps life-living is meant to be extreme. Perhaps we are meant to dare it all: to risk the finding and the losing of everything that we want in our lives in order to have everything that we want in our lives.
I watch my 2-year old daughter vacillate between the extremes of sorrow and joy many times in a day, or often in an hour. She does this with the professional fluidity and whole-heartedness of any toddler. And whilst I don’t condone throwing oneself on the floor to rant loudly about the traffic or rising taxes, I do think that running full-tilt, and arms-wide-open at the ones you love each morning is a brilliant practice. Perhaps we should also be running this way at the things, and the places, and the dreams that we love too?
How is it that in our growing older, and more socially appropriate, that most of us lose this sense of spontaneity? We forget our ability to live extremely in the moments of our days. We no longer marvel at the magic that happens when we make fortresses of pillows and blankets. We stop trying to march, or hop, or run instead of walking. We don’t climb trees or spin ourselves dizzy for the joy of falling on the floor. We rush and we worry, and we don’t stop only so that we can rush and worry some more. I am as guilty as anyone...
....except when the world is transformed by the falling snow – snow that stops one driving but demands a sled, a snowman and the warmest of sweaters.
....except for hours strewn with paper and ribbon and tape and cards and gifts for those that I love.
....except for an evening of carols sung outdoors, in the cold, heard as if for the first time with my daughter beside me.
...except for a tree, laden with decorations old and new, and shining with lights in a darkened room.
Then I lie on the floor and stare up through the branches as I did when I was small. Then I feel my gratitude grow large inside me. And the tears come to my eyes.