Life is unpredictable.
Sometimes, beautiful sunrises are followed by unfortunate phone calls that haunt the recipients for the rest of their lives. Other times, tragic accidents bring two people together who otherwise may never have met, and those people fall in love. We struggle to get through some days and claw and scratch our way out of the worst of them. When we find ourselves in a long, dark tunnel, it’s the light at the end, either seen or imagined – breathing in mountaintop air, hearing the laugh of a child, getting a hug from a friend – that helps us find our way.
Life is a mixed bag.
In the middle of the night last night, I gave up on sleep. Seeing that my husband had had better luck finding peace, I climbed out of bed gingerly, tiptoed around my sleeping dog’s bed on the floor of our room, opened the door quietly and padded down the hall to our great room. I sat down on the couch. I briefly took in, for the first time, the way light and shadows play on the 18-foot ceiling and walls when the world is sleeping. And then, without warning, I started to cry. But the sun still rose this morning, and not 10 hours after my solitary moment of grief, I laced up my shoes and stepped outside into a beautiful, sub-90-degree July day under bright green leaves that whispered in the midday breeze and a blue sky unmarred by clouds. I took a walk with my husband and my dog and breathed it all in, and I was happy.
Life is full of terrible pain and grief, but even in its darkest hours, life can be illuminated by moments of great wonder and beauty. Those are the moments that make life worth living.