Return to Life
I'm sitting here tonight in an artificially-lit room, but, just as much as ever, I am under the stars.
And I'm coming up for air. More than mere oxygen, but deep rest. And childlike joy.
It becomes such a valued commodity as we get older. Something we have to fight for.
I catch a breath, look over at my bookshelf, and see the corner of the faded Winnie the Pooh book my Nana used to read me as a kid. She would flip through the pages and read with full character voices and unrivaled enthusiasm. She was the epitome of joy! She would wake us up in the morning (when we'd slept in too long and she couldn't wait another minute to serve us the breakfast she'd made) by flinging open the door, stomping in, clapping loudly, and singing as obnoxiously (and adorably) as possible "LET THE SUNSHINE IN! FACE IT WITH A GRIN. SMILERS NEVER LOSE AND FROWNERS NEVER WIN!" as she'd open up the curtains and watch us shrink back under the covers like vampires...
When I think of how I want to live my life, I think of her. Yes, she was my grandma, but she was one of the most youthful souls you'd meet! She laughed more than she complained and she brought that to other people contagiously. Even when things seemed bleak, she found the light and brought that to those around her.
If the joy of the Lord really is our strength, we have to take time to cultivate that joy!
If we are inevitably marching ahead on a world that never stops turning, I want to at least dance along these days. I want to be filled with the magic a child witnesses.
I want to be amazed by the sunrise and fascinated by the rainbow of leaves falling in autumn. When I'm tempted to just trudge along, I want to defiantly search for shooting stars, praise God on the daily for morning coffee, look back and smile at how far I've come, fully embrace the day I'm given now, laugh 'til I cry, love and be loved, cherish every moment, and fully celebrate these days. If I don't, I'm in danger of losing my life. Forfeiting my zest.
I believe we must take time to savor, dream, create, and infuse this world with color and life if we are to really live - and to really breathe.