Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moments of Sheer Brilliance

In no particular order...

* Waking my son up this morning, on his second to last day of "real school," scratching his back, lying next to him, cuddling with him, praying that these last two days would go well, that he will be able to see and bid farewell to all his school-mates, and giving thanks for all that we have learned this year.

* Going for a 3 mile walk/jog with my daughter on Monday morning. In order to encourage the wild animals to come near, we walked in silence. Rabbits, squirrels, birds, and a few people gazed at us in wonder.

* Going for another three mile walk this morning with my daughter, talking the whole way. (We are walking a lot these days. It has been great.)

* Sitting with my daughter for the better part of an hour, this morning, journaling, reading, talking, laughing, telling stories, eating, and drinking hot, sweet drinks at Caribou Coffee.

* Moving to the restaurant next door to Caribou for a breakfast wrap. Sadly that restaurant, owned by a beautiful and generous Brazilian couple we know from church, is closing its doors tomorrow. Before they decide what their next business venture will be, Helio and Regina are taking their two sons back to Brazil for two months to relax on the beach. Traveling mercies to them!

* While we were sitting in their restaurant,I finished a book entitled, Light Through The Crack: Life after Loss. It is a book replete with stories of addictions, betrayal, fear, illness and death - but in each story there is a moment of seeing light through the crack. Of forgiveness and reconciliation after a husband's breach of trust at his job. A man who lived the first 50 years of his life hiding his true racial identity in South Africa is finally able to make some measure of peace with his siblings, his wife, and his daughters. A drug and alcohol-addicted young man makes amends with his adopted family, the justice system he evaded, and others he had hurt along the way. No easy answers are offered in this book. No formulae for peace and perfection. Nope, all these people continue to fight their way back to wholeness every day. They must daily choose life over death, joy over despair, trust over suspicion, and starting over after failing again. Yet, light for the journey shines through the cracks in their lives.

* A few minutes after I finished the book, as I sat journaling my responses to it, a woman I recognized from several social events came in. We began to talk about school and homeschooling. This is a woman I hope to get to know better. She has two children (11 and 6 years of age) that she recently took to Costa Rica for a month to a language immersion school. In a small town in the mountains. No car. No one in the town spoke English. There she was with her children. She said she is considering whether or not to homeschool them full time in the fall. Did I mention that she has long, beautiful dreadlocs, a gorgeous bright smile, a deep and hearty belly laugh, doesn't believe that television should be our children's primary caretaker, and cannot wait until the school year is over so that she can spend all day everyday with her two little people?

* Yesterday, the man who coordinates the adult classes at our church told me that the women in my journaling class had written nothing but glowing remarks in their class evaluations. They didn't want anything to change. They have learned and grown and are looking forward to continuing.

* Last night, my husband and I went to a local high school baseball game. No, we didn't know anybody on either team. No, we didn't take either of our children with us to the game. But there we were. First of all, it was great to be alone with Steve, even if only for an hour and a half. Second, I saw a guy at the game that I recognized from our graduating class at Williams! There with his young son, just watching the game. Nope, they didn't know anybody on either team.

* On Tuesday, Kristiana and I went up to the lake house I mentioned last year around this time. Spacious, gracious, inviting. Our hosts welcomed us and granted us full access to everything and every room in the house. We spent most of the day on the screened-in porch - except for the brief dip Kristiana took in their pool. The son of the family that owns the home, Brian, was packing to leave for Florence, Italy for the next seven weeks. To study the Italian language and Italian politics. He left yesterday. Traveling mercies, Brian.

What I realize is that, when taken separately, when not thought about intentionally, none of those incidents are brilliant in and of themselves. But when I think about them just a tad longer, I recognize the beauty, the magnificence, the co-incidence of these moments this week.

The co-mingling of the decision to stay in the area of Daniel's school (today and tomorrow are half-days for him) instead of going home put us in the vicinity of our friends' restaurant so that we could see him and hear the story of their decision to let the business go.

The co-mingling of sitting in that restaurant with meeting and making a new friend.

The co-mingling of silence and joviality as my daughter and I walk, not only on the spectacular greenways of Charlotte, but also the pathway of my life as it winds alongside the path of my daughter's life.

Snuggling with my son in the morning, co-mingling with our discussion of the last minute details of his final days of school.

Showing up at a local baseball game, choosing to sit at a certain place in the bleachers, looking up and seeing a face I recognized immediately. Watching his face light up when I introduced myself as another "Eph."

Meeting up with yet another person embarking on what can be a life-altering journey overseas. Having the opportunity to wish him well and to include him in my prayers for traveling mercies for so many that I know that are on the road.

Being welcomed openly into someone's much-loved and carefully adorned home at the same time that I am learning to open myself up and allowing others access to some of my deeply loved, newly appreciated inner chambers.

Recognizing that between the cracks in my schedule,
the cracks in my motherhood, my marriage,
my friendships, my faith -
between all those ever-widening cracks,
light is shining.
I see the cracks.
I see the light,
and I hereby boldly declare:
The Light Is Good.

I could go on and on. And I will - in my journal.

Again and again, day after day,
I see the beauty,
the synchronicity,
the wonder of this amazing life
I have been given to live.

Sheer brilliance.
All of it.


Amy said...

I truly believe there are no coincidences in this life. You did have moments of sheer brilliance, Gail. How lovely!

Ella said...


Those memories of my child with my parents have always stuck with me.

You are investing in your children and so many people don't understand that how they model their lives.

What a great example you give of that.

In friendhsip and love,