July 30, 2014 § Leave a comment
This is an extra from my many attempts to make a birthday present for my friend and roommate this week. I gave her what I hope were the best ones in a pretty frame, but this one turned out rather nice as well. It’s meaningful to her all by itself, but also happens to be the title of a great song by a band she likes.
In crafting this bit of ink and calligraphy for her, I found myself bolstered by it, having to write and rewrite it a few dozen times. The distinctions between joy and happiness have already been expounded upon by others, so I’ll but add that I am learning to look for real joy in my own, daily life. After finding out today that a potential full-time position at my current job is no longer a possibility for me, I reach for the joy that is beyond momentary disappointment. I have had my moment with it and may very well again, but I also trust that doors open when they’re meant to and know that the perks (4 weeks paid vacation! Maybe still a bit sore on that score.) I would’ve gained in the switch to salaried employee are not my sole pursuit. In truth, nothing really has changed: I still have a job that I mostly enjoy and also was complimented by my boss on the work I do even in midst of the we-went-with-someone-else talk. That means a lot to me. It wasn’t my dream job or even an option that I’d desired before a month ago, so that helps ease the sting some. I didn’t even cry much, and that’s saying something as that’s usually my default with the emotional situations! I give God thanks for the grace he has given me and pray it spills out to those I work with even now.
July 14, 2014 § Leave a comment
“It’s summertime and the living is easy”
“I got that summertime, summertime sadness”
“In the summertime when the weather is hot/You can stretch right up and touch the sky”
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
“And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity/That the days can’t be like the nights/In the summer, in the city.”
“Some people were always cross when they were hot.”
All these lyrics/lines carry a bit of truth with them in this season. Summers evoke memories of carefree childhood and school letting-out and 3-month long jobs between semesters. I remember, though, missing my friends something terribly as we lived a good 30-minutes away. Summer days beckon you to plan getaways or float in a body of water or drink sweet tea in the shade (my preference). It’s peaches and blueberries and tomatoes to be eaten and soft grass to be walked through and naps to be taken and rains to be grateful for. Summers make me think of waking up with the sun at the start of many long, sweltering days to help my dad seine ponds alongside my brother.
Summers seem to stretch out, languidly, and the heat of these days works against energy and effort, at least while the sun is high in the sky. Summer multiplies life: weddings, trips, friend visits, activities and events coming out of the woodwork, unbundled from the cloister of winter.
I spent last weekend as part of the wedding of my dear and longest-lasting friend Joy, who bravely (or just necessarily) chose to marry out of doors, in Alabama, in July. We all prayed for a reprieve, a breeze to cut through some of summer’s humidity, and I can say that, while it was hot, no one fainted or succumbed to heat stroke. It was a beautiful weekend to celebrate her and her new husband Matt’s commitment to each other. Our group of close high school friends were all together again, for the first time in at least 2 years. It was a blessing to be there and to see her joy firsthand.
Though in body I feel like I’ll be melting for the next 3 or 4 months straight, in spirit I feel as if a fresh breeze is blowing through bringing change and peace and surprise.