Thursday, August 8, 2013

Little Things

The "little things" in life that I love so dearly....

The look of a child, innocent and pure, running freely without a care in the world. Children have a way of reaching into the depths of my soul, reminding me the best way to view life is through their eyes. Their honest, pure, and caring interactions with others makes me smile, knowing this world is better because of them. Kids are messy, loud, and sometimes feel like too much to handle, yet it is their energy and enthusiasm for life I will always admire. 

A cloudy day. This may seem an odd thing to love...but the other day as I was driving home from work I looked up into the sky and saw scattered clouds and was in awe. The setting sun was peaking through in various places and yet there were some dangerously dark storm clouds as well. The mixture of the light and dark was almost poetic; it was as if the human experience was truly written in the sky. Life isn't always sunny days, it also has it's storms. It's the combination of both that keeps us from forgetting we are blessed by the bad and the good we encounter everyday. I love this kind of weather because it makes me want to sit back and take some time to contemplate.

The moment that something finally clicks! I won't share the exact moment in the past few weeks that this idea came into my head, but I think all of you can agree with me when I say it is wonderful to reach the moment when after hours, days, or even years something you didn't understand finally becomes clear. It simply amazes me how this works. Sometimes it is easier when these moments of clarity come to become irritated that you couldn't have learned it earlier but when the initial reaction fades, one must appreciate the personal growth that has taken place seemingly instantaneous.

The local coffee shop. It seems that no matter what place I call "home" I quickly fall in love with the nearest coffee establishment. And it wasn't until last Saturday that I realized something profound, coincidentally while sitting in a coffee shop. The fact that I love coffee shops has nothing to with the place itself, or the coffee, or the "atmosphere." (Although I really do like all of those things!) The real reason coffee shops have such a deep place in my heart and soul, is that they provide an opportunity for reflection. It is in coffee shops that I think my best thoughts, come to more conclusions (or rather create more questions), and just take a moment to pause. I find it difficult to do this for myself in my day-to-day life and coffee shops help me to do just that and enjoy the wonderful taste of some overpriced drink that I probably shouldn't be drinking anyway, but hey you can't have it all right?

A good book. A book that doesn't tell you what to think, rather one which makes you think. Stories are a means of communication that have been a part of humanity for so long that I can't help but feel connected, grounded, and part of something larger than just myself and the book in my hand. Reading is a way to travel the world without stepping foot out your door, an unique opportunity to have a conversation with people you will most likely never meet, and has a lasting impact on your life which you never thought possible. 

The moment you realize that someone really understands you.  Not that someone can ever fully comprehend every part of who you are, I'm not even sure that we can know that about ourselves, instead it is that small moment when you look into somebody else's eyes and see they know what you are feeling, thinking, or going through. It is an incredible and unique characteristic of humanity that one can empathize with another. 

Sleepless nights. Okay, I don't love these but I do want to talk about them. Nights in which I find myself tossing and turning, trying to do ANYTHING to fall asleep, are some of the best nights of my life. It's these nights that I have the most intensely deep conversations with God, finally come to reality of my emotional denial and am forced to confront myself. These nights remind me, the seemingly "inconvenient" moments in life can be used for meaningful revelations. 

The connection that is shared between family. Growing up, it was always easy to point out the flaws and dysfunctions within my family, yet today I celebrate them. It was through my difficult upbringing and unconventional lifestyle that my family and I learned to survive together. There were days that we couldn't stand the sight of each other but with great love comes even greater battles. We each had our points of weakness, bouts with pride, and moments of selfishness. Yet, we loved despite these. It wasn't perfect and never will be but I chose to see the beauty in the chaos that is my family. 

Music that speaks to directly to your heart and soul. When a song plays on the radio that captures the emotions that I am feeling, I stand back in awe. Just tonight, as I was driving home a song came on the radio that brought me tears. It was the way the lyrics aligned with my heart that had me reeling, trying to find a way to express the feeling of clarity and understanding the song brought to me I couldn't help but let the tears fall. 

These are only a few of the little things that I love....