“But I like to think I can cheat it all
To make up for the times I’ve been cheated on.
And it’s nice to know when I was left for dead,
I was found and now I don’t roam these streets.
I am not the ghost you want of me…”
What a beautiful thing… I find myself drinking it in. Alive. I am alive. Sometimes life forces you to stop and revel in the marvel of this gift.
There are moments when the beauty of life screams to be acknowledged. Like today as I felt the preluding breath of fall against my face. The grass beneath my back as I lie amidst a bed of leaves, the soft scruff of my husky’s fur beneath my fingers as he reclined with paws raised toward the sky, exposing his belly to the soft warmth of a distant sun.
I feel it call to me, in the silence. A marvelous awareness that I am alive, truly alive, and no scars could ever dim the splendor of that truth.
I’ve seen my share of battles and I’ve been let down a thousand times. Yet none of those things dampen my view of today or tomorrow. I am a product of my experience, but a wondrous one, and not one regret sits upon my heart as I think of all of the things this world has to offer.
A friend of mine started a conversation (he is so very good at those!). One that begged the question of why we as humans shy from honesty. My first response was fear. We fear so much in life, and that fear can paralyze us or build walls and shields against the touch of reality.
I believe in facing fears. In reaching through the experiences that frighten us and discovering if it was truly worth being afraid of in the first place.
I also had another conversation this week. One about baggage and how we tend to carry it with us through life and relationships. I am young, but I used to carry a wealth of baggage. Enough to realize it’s better to dig through it, take what is worth keeping, and leave the rest behind.
I still face fears. Yet the key is that I face them like challenges, knowing that the worst I can do is fail. And is failing such a terrible thing? The more I think about it, the more I believe no… not at all. It’s just another experience; another way of learning; of discovering what doors to leave open and which ones to close.
As I sprawled across the grass this afternoon, my husky’s nose against my cheek, I stared at the sky and understood that this life is as infinite as the Carolina blue above our heads. And there is life to be known, to be experienced.
Sometimes it’s on the back of a boat as the sun sets, painting the gulf in a pallet of colors vibrant with nature’s beauty. The caring arm of a new friend across your shoulders; the scruff of his cheek pressed against your own and stirring a feeling that makes you wonder if joy this pure can be real.
It’s the slick gray of a dolphin cutting through the water; the brush of a fin against your ankle.
I find it in the warm taste of hot chocolate against the nip of a new morning.
Or the inability to contain your laughter when a dog dressed as a stegosaurus walks by your door… followed by storm troopers.
Life is beautiful, unexpected, and full of a thousand different surprises that carry you through emotions that, whether good or bad, are equally worth it because if gives us a chance to seize the opportunity of be alive.
Something we may only have the chance to do once. And if that’s the case, I plan to embrace it with eyes wide open and make every moment worth it.
“If you’re lost and alone,
Or you’re sinking like a stone,
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground.
-“Carry On” by fun.