This morning I took my kids to school and then went for a run. It was just sprinkling when I started out but the rain was coming down pretty hard when I was a couple of miles in to the run. Rainy spring runs are the best. I love the sound of my breath swooshing in and out of my lungs, the delicious ache in my legs as I push up the cemetery hill. I love the calculus involved in a run: if I turn here I can add another mile, how far if I turn there? When I got back to the house I was drenched and exhilarated, ready for the rest of the day.
I spent most of my day elbow deep in tomato sauce and cheese and noodles. I'm preparing dinner for around 70 people tomorrow night and I did a bunch of prep work today. At first, when I agreed to do this I just thought it would be a good way to support an event that I care about. Today in the kitchen I was enjoying myself so much that I think it was really a gift for me to get to do it. I layered sauce and noodles and cheese. I dipped pounds of strawberries in chocolate. I talked to myself and listened to a great book. I chatted with a good friend. It was pleasure and purpose combined.
I was working alongside a friend for a bit today and she nearly burst to show me a picture of her brand new grandson. He's fresh on the scene, just born this morning and he is glorious. Then she showed pictures of the new grandson alongside pictures of her son when he was a baby. And all I could think was, I bet she still sees that baby when she looks at him. When I look at my kids I see their baby faces and their toddler faces and their preschool faces and all their faces just smooshed into who they are now. All those faces, just like they were yesterday before they grew into the giants they are now.
My Aunt posted a picture on Facebook today because it's her wedding anniversary. I haven't seen the picture before and it is just so beautiful. She is dancing with her husband and she is absolutely luminous in the picture. She's a beautiful woman, don't get me wrong, but the beauty in that picture is a result of the love and the grace and the gift of that day. The best part of that picture is that my Aunt still looks just that luminous, even these 15 years later. I was an adult when my Aunt got married and for a long time I thought I wouldn't be able to give someone new the name Uncle. I was wrong. Even if he weren't a great guy, which he is, I would love him for how well he loves my Aunt.
My precious friend's grandma died today, on her 85th birthday. I'm sad for my friend and for her family but I can't help but feel happy for her grandma. If someone had told me on my day of birth that I'd die on that same day 85 years later, I wouldn't be sad about it. She had a great life, full of people who loved her and cared for her. And on her 85th birthday she died in her home without a great deal of pain. A trip to heaven doesn't seem like a bad birthday present.
Sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed by how beautiful it all is. Life, I mean.