Yesterday, I sat on the back porch of my in law’s house as the day began to end. The girls played under a colorful sky for the first time in months. It was all blues and orange and streaks of white. They leaped under the canopy of clouds, their limbs bared and their cheeks red. My daughters with their strong growing legs and arms that reach for things I can’t see. They are beautiful. When I am very lucky, I can see myself in their unbrushed hair and grass stained feet. Only a few years separate them from me, I am sister as nearly as I am mother. And the strength, the potential, the bright light I see for them is just as much mine as it is theirs. We are none of us too old to move forward or too young to handle the big things of this life.
Today, I turn twenty-eight. An age without much attached to it, a lost year between the beginning of twenty five and relative youth of thirty. It seems it shouldn’t be a year starting with so much light and hurt. But as I watched my little girls play, one golden moment at a time, I realized that life’s profound nature needs to stop surprising me. They danced under the setting day and I felt that this life will not become easier or more expected. And I knew that I wouldn’t wish for it to be different. I want the lessons at the end of each difficult road. They are what I have come to claim as my own. If I can just have enough moments of light in the fading sun, I will be sustained when I cannot see in the dark.
And so for this year, I wish for things I have not before. For the courage to be shaped into the person I was born to become. For enough years to give me lines on my face and hands. For dirt under my nails and the sweat of the blessing of hard work. For inspiration and stories and ink filled pages. For touch and smell and taste. For late nights spent in Riley’s arms. For tears with meaning and an ache that drives me home. For the ability to live the hard times well. And my girls, for them I wish even the briefest understanding of what we have here together and what we have here forever. Just a flash of the place where this moment touches eternity. If I can help them see that, then they will be able to see everything.
Today, I turn twenty-eight. And I am uncertain and the world is big and my heart feels new. But I have my husband and my daughters. I have my God and my faith. I have my passion and my path.
Then, there is joy. I do not have to wish for joy. It already belongs to me.
And for that I am grateful.