|This reminded me of the image my friend |
sent me. It said "40 is only 11 in Scrabble."
Unfortunately, I couldn't find that image
anywhere as labeled for reuse, so this one will do.
I went for a 40 minute walk, since I'm 40. It is chilly outside, but I didn't feel cold, maybe because I was warmed up from 40 sit-ups and 40 push-ups and 40 jumping-jacks. The sun was shining most of the time so that helped. I moved to the street just after starting my walk to avoid slipping on the icy sidewalks. As I watched the snow blow across the street in front of me, and fall off the branches when a gust came up, I thought, "Why am I doing this? Why is this my choice for how to celebrate 40?" Well, my answer to myself was two parts: 1) I want to, and 2) I can. Since it's my birthday I can do what I want, I reasoned. Sort of. Then I thought about other things I want to do. I want to answer the phone and have it be Dad on the other end singing Happy Birthday to me. Maybe he'd use his Randolph voice. [Randolph was our family's imaginary friend, creatively voiced by my dad when we were doing mundane tasks together, like walking beans or unloading hay, or getting toward the end of a long day in the car on vacation. I miss Randolph.] I also want to open the mail and see a home-made card from my mother-in-law, or stop by Cedar Manor and have Ron tell me, "40! You're just a kid!"
I'm finally learning, I think, that incredible joy opens the door to incredible loss and our greatest losses help us reflect upon and truly appreciate our greatest joys. The little time of sadness I felt this morning helped me appreciate the fact that I am able to choose to walk these familiar streets on this cool, snowy, sunny, breezy day.
I reflected upon my favorite Easter song because it spills over with joy. It's sort of cheesy, and maybe a little overdone, but I love waking on Easter morning and listening with my ears and imagination to Sandi Patty's Was It a Morning Like This?
Did the grass sing? Did the earth rejoice to feel you again? Over and over like a trumpet underground, did the earth seem to pound, "He is Risen!"The joy that must have overflowed that first easter morning, and the joy that will fully overflow on some morning to come, is joy brought through loss and suffering and sacrifice. It's joy brought through perfect love.
In sorrow and joy and all the mundane in between, You are loved!
And now, I need to go do some stretches. These muscles aren't as young as they once were.