At the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, can one’s heart truly hold the beauty of this world?
This is a question I asked myself as I stood at the rim of the Grand Canyon this past Fall. Welling up with emotion, the magnitude and vast areas of beauty before me, this thought spoke vehemently to me.
Viewing the landscape as we flew over it to get the Canyon’s edge, caused that emotion to well before we even arrived. How long have the years taken to carve this land into what it is today? How many people and civilizations have carved their imprint into this land to turn to dust entering into the land itself. Staggering, just staggering… so much that I felt like an inconsequential speck upon the landscape to come and go on this Earth having no effect. I thought back, into my days of youth where the only sense of time I had was bedtime, basing my days on that and its avoidance. How many play dates could I fit in before the end of the day? My how things have changed, where bedtime is welcomed and playdates seem to have become nonexistent! Time has not stood still but marches along. Day after day, mountain after mountain, people after people. Seeming to move even more quickly as one ages.
Looking back on photos from last year, as I was searching for visuals for my intended post, I came across both these photos of the Grand Canyon taken in November and a photo from New Years eve as 2017 was dawning. These photos caused the path of my intended blog post to change direction from one that I was going to entitle The Twelve Days of Christmas, to the one I am writing now. The beauty of the images of the Canyon that reflected back at me taken a mere two short months ago, seemed to starkly oppose the photo of last New Years Eve 2017. Darkness overtook me, for in that photo standing next to me, was our 22 year old nephew who tragically passed away shortly before Christmas. On a day where I was setting up a beautiful and festive Christmas party in the barn for a close friend and client of ours. An environment full of light and festivity. Both of these experiences stood a mere month apart… one of intense beauty and one of intense darkness. Darkness and light… the eternal opposition. The contradiction of life… moments of beauty and light… moments of dark and sorrow… and everything in between.
In experiencing and participating in the services for our nephew, we were struck with the unbelievable support and love shown to my brother and sister in law and their family. Support that was not asked for, just given freely and at a time when nothing else, except their faith could have kept this family standing. It continues to be given and continues to help them in their grieving and healing.
( I will write more about this experience in the future, when both his family and I are ready, for it needs to be spoken about.)
Where would we be without each other? Could these past civilizations who crossed those mountains against insurmountable obstacles and forged those rivers to create places where they survived and thrived done it alone? Hell no! In this world where dark moments, at times, seem to be overshadowing light, where fears for the future abound, and too much emphasis is put on what separates us as humans than on what connects us, words from a Pope Francis TED talk ( yes you heard me right) struck a chord on both of these fronts. He was invited to speak at a conference entitled The Future You, and here is a snippet of what he had to say.
“The future is made of yous, it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others. Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.”
” Each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness.”
If you want to check out more of his words of wisdom, you can click on this link. A huge thank you goes out to Christine Cavalieri for sharing this link on her public Facebook Group, WorkWhileLife, where you can promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate! Check both of them out!
Some circumstances in life cannot be changed, we cannot bring loved ones back to this Earth to be with us. We cannot cure certain diseases and illnesses… someday but not yet. Sometimes it feels as if our actions are futile. Almost akin to when one tries to dispense their wisdom of their years on their teenager or young adult… almost akin to that. But what can we do in this new year to counter what we cannot change?
We can be the light even when a brisk draft is trying to blow that light out. We can be there for others, supporting them, when needed, in silence of your presence or in your words or actions. There is SO much beauty in this world, let us not get so stuck in what seems to be today’s ego centric agenda and fill in the moments of life where we can CHOOSE beauty in the everyday. In our interactions, our relationships, how we speak to people. In our celebrations of milestones. In our neglect of concentrating on the petty and superficial and going for the deeper meaning.
Again, like the beginning of this post where I am at risk for sounding cheesy and cliche and of going over the edge with my “thinks too deeply” blog posts. I, a mother of 5 who roll their eyes at my advice, who has no credentials for life coaching, just a barn full of old things that she loves, a hopeless romantic, a need to shop in brick and mortar stores otherwise I would only ever get to know my UPS or Amazon driver or hear the honk of his horn as he drops a package, a paper calendar/ planner user… am handing out advice in this new year.
We need each other, we need personal interaction and connection. We need to slow down in this crazy spinning world. We need to make someone’s day. We need to pat each other on the back more. We need to talk, talk and then talk some more. We need to be the light… in this New Year.