People are so funny. Especially when you're close, and you love them, and you can enjoy the quirks, the teasing, the in-jokes. Cats and dogs are funny, too. Each one has a unique personality to make us fall in love. Bird poo, falling SPLAT suddenly on a car windshield makes me laugh and go "EEEEW" at the same time. ( My husband does NOT laugh at this, however.)
Every moment of life is rife with wonder, love, laughter. If only we would take the time to inwardly pause and look! If only we would relax more often and feel thanksgiving for life well up in our hearts!
Most amazing - and miraculous - to me - is that we can still laugh, still love, still enjoy tranquil and awe-inspiring life moments, even after we have endured and are enduring great tragedies and illnesses. The resilience of the human spirit isn't even known to us until we HAVE suffered. Then we see the resilience of our spirit shine in the darkness and know that it cannot be extinguished. We can weep out of loss one moment, and melt into a loved one's tender embrace the next.
St. Paul, who suffered so much in his life, understood this human resilience and capacity for love and laughter and centered it in our trust in God. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!...The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
I love that expression "Take time to smell the roses." I LOVE digging my nose inside my rose petals and just inhaling their perfume. I love sitting in a cottage and gazing out at the majestic tides of the ocean. I love watching clouds floating lazily over my head. I love eating Amy's potent chili, drinking white wine with Merritt, tasting Paul Jr.'s home-made beer, discussing novels and poetry with Mike, hearing about Greek customs from Stephanie, ducking to avoid Mary Beth's amiable verbal zingers, drinking scads of Keurig coffee with Brian, hearing John's enthusiastic stories about the latest in Broadway Theater, and cuddling Cathy after she comes in the back door.
This is life. Rejoice in it - and be thankful to the Lord Who, even in the midst of our most sorrowful times, still gives life and love to us in such beautiful, overwhelming abundance.