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Can you see the stars?

August 14, 2010

It’s now Saturday, and a good bit into it, and I have yet to rest before I head to work.

I can’t stop thinking.
I am inexplicably thankful.
I am realizing, to some extent, how lucky I am–and knowing that I can’t possibly grasp the entirety of how much I have and can enjoy makes this truth even sweeter.
I am learning how much of an adventure life is. The nearly overwhelming part is how young I am and what the following stages of my life will bring. Yet, each day I’m waking up with this sense of wonder–nothing terribly philosophical, but a sense of gratitude that I get another day. I have another day.

I’m thinking about friendship, forgiveness, and the way people approach one another. There’s this sense of understanding between friends that I took a moment to explain today–“No matter the distance or the time, friendship doesn’t fade if the investment, heart-wise, is strong enough. When two friends who haven’t seen each other meet up again, there’s no doubt that the other cares, because they are taking a moment to show it. Between those times, they just know and hold on.” In the in-between times, friendship has to involve a lot of faith. Faith is needed to believe that the love and care are still present, and faith is needed for one to believe they can be a friend to another. It’s give and take, and it’s rest and know. Just thinking of it is special–it’s one of those miracles of life, that we get to share it with others.
I feel like forgiveness gets really important too. Forgiveness, in the way I think of it and phrase it, the determination that past issues are put aside to restore right relationship in the present and to ensure a future that will benefit all those involved. It looks different in each situation, because our hurts and needs are different. However, forgiveness consistently speaks to the idea of “You are valuable, and I am valuable, and it would devalue both of us to allow a situation to cause continual strife. For your sake and for mine, it is set aside. Let’s move forward, in the way that we determine.” It feels so much like the mending of something torn–the healing of a wound–the filling of a void–bringing together what was broken and filling what was empty, so that all might be well again. It is a team effort. It is an equalizer and brings those involved higher.
I’m thinking about my friends and family–the people I get to “share my life with”. I say that with some reservation because I’m not sure what my life would be without the people in it. I’m not sure if anything good feels quite as good until it’s shared. I feel like the people in my life make my life good, and my life is good because I get to live WITH others. It’s not the same life. It’s my life and their lives, playing out side by side, supporting, encouraging, helping to lift them in some way, and receiving the same benefits myself. Life is an adventure, but I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much if I didn’t have people to enjoy the view with. If I was alone, I’d have no one to learn from and no one to teach. Shared experiences make it worthwhile.
Last night, living in this suburban area with shopping centers and lit-up streets, I could only see one star. Last week, on a vacation with family, there were many stars, all there at what seemed to be different depths, in different levels of brightness, and with a beautiful glow all around them. The only difference here was perception. Nothing is absent here, because I’m gazing up at the same sky, but I am unable to see the beauty of all the stars. Sometimes I think I get like that with other things. I can get so focused on the issues at hand that the joy of life and the beauty around me can go unperceived. Sometimes I can’t change my scenery and escape to a place of peace, because duty calls me here. However, I can remember the beauty of life I have seen and have faith in the good that is all around me. If I learn to remember and recognize it, maybe I will learn to see more. So far, it’s working. Thanks to some friends and some moments of reflection, I’m learning that life is good, even when I can’t say that right away based on what I see and may feel, just like I’m learning that the stars are all out, in all their steadfast glory. I just can’t see them. Can you see the stars tonight?

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