Sundays are nostalgic. I’m coming off the high of a great weekend but also realize Monday is right around the corner. My favorite thing to do on Sunday evenings is get in my car and drive to Sauvie Island. I process so much when I’m driving. It doesn’t hurt that I usually get to take in a stellar PNW sunset.
I seriously can’t quit the mood music. I’ve been working on a “Sunset Ride” playlist and I think it’s come together pretty nicely, at least for me. It’s mellow and perfect for exactly what it’s titled. Get in your car, roll the windows down, and drive somewhere beautiful. Go alone or hold hands with your loved one across the center console.
May 1st is always a weirdly sad day for me. It’s the birthday hangover, the day after feeling more loved than ever before. It’s not that the attention is no longer on me or that the excitement of receiving gifts has faded. Once the phone stops ringing and the cards have all been opened, I’m reminded that life is short and I’m getting older. I’m reminded that there is no joy without some kind of pain. I’m reminded of the ebb and flow of life and how all our highs seem to have lows peeking from around the corner you’ll inevitably encounter.
We fall in love because it’s the best feeling in the world, but we can’t fully experience the joy of it all because there’s a quiet sadness in our gut that whispers “this, too, will come to an end.” Everything has to. We summit mountains only to climb back down and have children only to watch them move away. It’s human nature to seek out the highest highs even though we know they’re coupled with the lowest lows. What goes up must come down. The metaphors are endless.
I believe in God and I believe He is good and that He created an incredible place for us to hang in perfect harmony forever. (I always imagine heaven as a warm Epsom salt bath after an insane workout – the ultimate relief after a lifetime of being human.) I know in my heart of hearts this to be true and it gives me hope and it gives me joy. But I’m still human and even though I’m psyched about what comes next, it doesn’t come without the sadness of this life ending. We don’t know anything else. It’s impossible to live comfortably with one foot in this world and the other in eternity.
So what does that mean for my 27th year? This year is going to be different. This year I want to bring as much heaven to earth as I can. I want to be better every day in hopes of making my little corner of the earth a little better for the other people who live in it. It means more phone calls home and smiles in the grocery store. It means buying less drinks and buying more postcards. It means staying up too late to help a friend or getting up early to serve the homeless.
There will always be a sadness about the end, but I say we make the best of every beginning, as many beginnings as we can.