I am sitting on my back patio, thinking of you. It’s a Thursday evening, exactly one week before this column will land in this paper and into your hands.
It’s a beautiful night, a summer blessing. There is a soft breeze tickling the tops of the trees as a mourning dove sings her song to the one she loves. The house air conditioner just kicked on to cool the rest of my family inside the house … those who know that, for me, it’s all about what can be found out here, summer in every shade, flavor and temperature.
I am created for this season, and perhaps you are too, and that’s why I’m thinking of you.
There are many who have written off this entire year because of all the “this and thats” that don’t need mentioning in these numbered words. Certainly, we are aware enough of the things that have changed, the losses sustained, and the worries that remain.
Yet there is so much else that remains, which is easy to lose sight of in the in-and-out of days, and this is what I wonder … Are you seeing it? Are you experiencing it? Are you savoring it?
The sun has just dipped below my patio awning and is shining directly into my eyes. I have no interest in shielding or hiding myself from it. Instead, I absorb it. I’ve been alive long enough to know that there are months in the year when the sky and the asphalt are the same color, so I need to absorb the sun while I can, even if it makes it difficult to see my computer screen where these words weave together.
I’ve also been alive long enough to know there will come a time when the sun doesn’t shine in my eyes at all … that there will come a day when I am no longer here. In fact, 100 years from now, no one who is reading this column will be alive at all. So, in the spirit of that good news, let’s make a pact with one another.
Let’s determine to be here while we are here. Let’s decide to suck the marrow out of this gorgeous life while we’re on this earth living it. Let’s grow things and taste things and create and live and love.
Let’s laugh with abandon with friends and tell stories and sit around campfires. Let’s enjoy a rich cup of coffee in the morning and a lovely glass of wine at night. Let’s get together, best as we can, and ask one another questions and listen for authentic answers and try to understand one another’s perspectives. Let’s speak truth in love when others need to hear it, but also realize that we’re all figuring out this crazy life at the same time, and none of us has a perfect answer.
Let’s search for beauty and find it. And when we do, let’s savor it, remember it, refuse to let it go.
The sun has now dipped below the edge of my neighbor’s roof. Night is falling, and tomorrow is another day. It’s another chance to experience beauty, and another chance to love, for most of us anyway.
Many have been distracted by these extraordinary times that have attempted to keep us from the beauty all around, but it’s not too late to experience it; it’s not too late to change.
Most of all, it’s not too late to fully live the beautiful life we set out to live in the first place, if only for a day.
I’ll see you in the sunshine.
Eileen Button teaches Communication at Mott Community College. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.