It was just one week ago I found myself numb in the car, unsure how to scrape my way out of my latest predicament. By Wednesday my perspective had changed and by Friday I felt like an entirely different person. Not healed, not new, just different. You see last weekend I embraced the moment of sadness and sat present with it. Alone in my frustration I reached out to the world and the world reached back. I moved with each subsequent moment, reserving judgment as to how I should react or feel and simply stayed with myself, where I was, in every moment of my life. We often hear that life is short. That we must sieze the moments. It’s true, before we know it today will be gone. But, if we practice being in each of our glorious moments, ugly or pretty, whether we are given 100 years or far fewer, life is also long. In one week I have felt so much, seen so many, experienced life on so many levels. Life is filled with precious moments, even when life is short it may be full of experiences where we love with abandon. Even the smallest lives may be large with love.
I often wonder if I died tomorrow or the next day what people would say about me when I am gone. How would my life be measured? Would it be in adventures? Bunji jumps into the Nile or excursions to Central America? Would it be measured in accomplishments? Trophies on the wall or degrees collected? Would it be measured in fitness? Strength of body or a silly three rep max? I wonder because those are the things we so often present to each other. I’ve climbed this many mountains and won this many awards.
I hope that instead we think of each other in moments where we loved fully. Moments where we lifted each other up and carried each other forward. Moments when we walked along side each other learning and loving as we trekked forward on our journey.
This morning I got up early and drove to Boulder with the sunrise. As the sun reminded me how small we all are, I basked in its radiance. The powerful reflection of light on the mostly empty roads filled me with a solace I hadn’t felt for sometime. You see, when you have a diagnosis and a fragile heart there is a specific kind of pit in your stomach and it stays there all the time. But when your worries are eclipsed by the painted sky for a moment you allow yourself to feel that fear in a way that is raw and real and unmitigated by the conventions of everyday life. If fear is the heart of love it is in the moments of intense vulnerability that you truly love yourself.
As I drove further from where I was to where I was going I watched the sun reflect off of buildings and mountains. The world appeared like a cardboard cut-out of itself, reminding me of a childlike play place. I remembered why as a child I fell in love with both the mountains and the city: you get lost in them, in their vastness you can join the masses scurrying about and feel as though you are a part of something bigger than you ever imagined. It’s easy to replace that wonder with an anxiety driven need to make your mark and stand out from the crowd but what we forget is that even when we are subsumed by something much larger than ourselves, we get to choose how we live in it.
Even when the sun blinds us with its radiance, we get to decide what to do with the light. We get to drive into the sunrise and live our moments and explore our hearts. We get to live.
And isn’t that just a fabulous thing?
Today I opted for a day that started with a drive into the sunrise and it likely won’t get much more awe-inspiring than that, but, wherever it takes me I will be in the moment, learning to live a new life in a new body. Learning to live in the present.
Doctor’s updates on the CSF leak next week, surgery TBD, until then let’s let our lives be warmed by the sun.
Peace and love,