Friday, July 9, 2010


The summer thus far has been full, to say the least. A lovely start to these weeks of warmth, of sidewalks and parks filled once again with people, of farmers markets and sundresses, of friends in town to visit and trips to get away, of daylight that lingers until late in the evening and new beauty that overwhelms.

In my little pocket of the world, these early summer days also brought a rather heightened dose of life in all its fullness. I have experienced loss and the resulting heartache, and I have felt some incredible joy and delight and newness.

And of course, such is life.

My grandfather passed away on June 21, peacefully slipping out of a painful last few months and into something much more beautiful. I went back out to South Dakota for the funeral, my second visit of the summer, and it was a hard but good time of coming together with family to remember well, to cry together, to love one another.

This time also provoked a lot of reflection. Death reminds me of the importance of living well, and my grandfather did just that. He was fully present. He worked hard. He loved faithfully. He sacrificed for others. He was steady.

And as my mother said eloquently of her father-in-law, he didn't have a lot of words. I, on the other hand, do have a lot of words. Clearly. I have a blog, for crying out loud, and my friends and family can attest to the fact that sometimes I talk far too much. But I can learn something very significant, I think, from that difference between my grandpa and me. Because even with few words, his life held so much meaning, and it meant something very good indeed.

And so. May all of the words tumbling out of my mouth and off the tips of my fingers be measured and meaningful and intention-filled, and yet may they never distract me from the meaning of my actions. May my life speak, and may it speak of beauty and hope and truth and love.

Oh, living well is no small thing, my friends.

And so the month of June ended, taking with it the life of one I loved. But just as endings come, so come beginnings, and on July 1, my dear friend Nicole and her husband Dickie welcomed a little one into the world. He is beautiful and perfect, tiny and fragile and full of potential. Holding his tiny, swaddled, two-day-old form last weekend reminded me of hope, of possibility and life and mystery.

All of this life is a good thing, and the intensity of what I've felt this early summer simply serves as a reminder that I am alive, just as heat and glistening skin remind us of the nearness of the sun. As a dear friend and I sipped homemade iced chai and nibbled on scones this afternoon at a favorite spot of mine, we talked about the mystery of life, the confusion that threatens to cloud its beauty, the grace that blessedly slips through anyway.

I hope that grace is slipping through into your life. I hope you're feeling alive in each and every moment you're living.

1 comment:

  1. What! You talk a lot? I never would have guessed.
    But I did realize that grandpa was a very quiet person. I'll miss him just being there, though.