This is me, one year ago today. October 14, 2011 in St. Augustine, Florida. I love this picture. Absolutely, positively, love it. Yeah, it’s out of focus and fuzzy, but that’s okay. I remember walking on the sand that cold morning, wearing my favorite pink Hurley hoodie, waiting for the sun to peek over the water and rise high into the sky! My bare feet squished down into the scrumptious wet sand and the air was crisp and inviting. My love affair with the water has been going on for years and I don’t foresee it coming to an end anytime soon. I’m hopelessly head-over-heels in love with the sea.
This picture captures a lot of the essence of me one year ago. Life was not perfectly in focus, a lot was wrong, and a lot was right. I was physically beginning to be in a healthier place while emotionally working through difficulties. The sun seemed to be rising on my life, though the air had a chill to it on some days. My smile was completely genuine, a reflection of what I felt inside that day, and on many days.
We cannot go back in time and relive our past, nor should we want to. But I would like to have more days where I’m blissfully happy, even if totally out of focus! I don’t think those days happen by chance all the time. Circumstances don’t allow for that. So I believe we can make some of them happen, indeed we must make them happen. Oh, it’s hard! Trust me on that one, fellow joy-seeker. Sometimes it takes digging deep, pushing our feet down into that wet sand to anchor ourselves. We can be happy. We can smile. We can laugh and dance and sing. We can even do a celebratory cartwheel on the beach! We can be joyful. On purpose.
A Little Out of Focus, Yet Blissfully Happy = Joy
What I remember most about that day is sunlight. The sunlight, filtering through the trees, was so golden and bright. It made the kitchen cheerful and warm. The boys and I were gathered at the kitchen table, also known as “the school room” on weekday mornings. Brian was 8 and Jordan was 6 and we had just begun school about a week earlier (third and first grade), once again homeschooling after a 2-year break. I had a little American flag that we’d look at as we put hands to heart and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, a little morning ritual during the early elementary years. I am almost positive we had just finished up handwriting when I got a phone call from Brian. He was driving in his work truck, headed to someplace in Missouri for the day and he sounded frantic. I was so confused. He told me I needed to turn the television on and see what was happening in New York.
The school day came to a halt. Everything had just changed…
Everything except that golden sunlight. It remained throughout the day until is sank behind the trees and the moon and stars took over. It is so vivid in my mind eleven years later. I can see it so clearly and almost feel it all over again. I think about it every year at this time. To me, over a decade later now, it symbolizes life. So much of life was tragically lost that day, but in the eleven years since, so much has been created. The sun keeps rising and setting and rising and setting, casting it’s golden light on us. We all see that sunlight and it’s the same light no matter where you are on Earth. I don’t deny that evil exists in the world, that hatred and violence reside in some hearts… but not all. The way to shatter that darkness is with light.
Light = Joy