with 4 comments

I have a friend who says the best things in life happen spontaneously, almost by accident. This is funny because she is a planner. She can take great joy in planning, having something to look forward to – she counts on that in many places of her life. However, in spite of all that, she firmly believes that most of the best times of her life – nights out, parties, trips – are those ones that happened on the spur of the moment.

Sometimes I agree.

Not too long ago, I had a night with that friend and her husband, and my husband too. We ate, and laughed, and the evening seemed to flow like water in a clear stream, like a glass of good wine. Several small things happened that surprised us, but they only seemed to serve to make the evening better, funnier, more enjoyable.

We ended up at one point walking down the street to see another couple as the evening light faded, glasses in hand, the air shining with spring around us, our kids running back and forth. They were lost in their own world, one of those wonderful moments where they are so into their own play that they really don’t want the parents to interfere.

There are such evenings, where the snappy comeback is always on your lips. Or somebody else’s. And you’re somehow not worried about what you have on. You wouldn’t mind dancing in front of other people, if it came to that. There is enough for everyone, enough room around the table for whoever shows up, enough room in your soul to take in and give back – your heart is open to the world.

And what does it mean? I want to say.

Why do such things seem few and far between? Why do I spend so much of my life…grasping?

I’m not in any way going to say that everywhere, all the time, there is enough. One has only to look around the corner, much less across the world, to know that. I also would never say there is not terrific pain, heartache, and loss to be lived through and dealt with as we walk through this life.

But if you could look inside my head – listen to the voices and many arguments that take place there, you would come away with the impression that I am much more left out, put upon…unloved than I really am.

Anne Lamott says it wonderfully – that in her head she knows that there is enough pie for everyone to have a piece, that there is no need to stab someone else with her fork. That she is mature enough to lay down her fork and smile at everyone else at the table. This she knows.

But she will go to her grave grasping her fork…

Me, too, sister! Back off from that pie!

And I don’t know, why, completely. I only know that some of it has to do with the way that I look at it, the lens I use to see. And that my summer self, loving this late May, on the cusp of summer June, finds it easier to see the abundance. Finds it hard to remember or even understand the wintered soul that sees only scarcity.

Maybe if I write it I will remember…


Written by Sarabeth :: the dramatic

May 20, 2007 at 10:53 pm

4 Responses

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  1. that may be the key to happiness – enjoying those moments like you had w/out letting the real world in, then reveling in them later with confidence that they will come again.


    May 21, 2007 at 1:40 pm

  2. I’ll sign your yearbook anyday! 😉


    May 21, 2007 at 9:55 pm

  3. maybe it’s because it seems like God is more generous in the spring and summer…with the sunshine, the fresh foods, the time.
    and somehow we have to have the scarcity to appreciate the abundance. i mean, would i be so overwhelmed by the tomatoes and strawberries if they were this good all year long?
    but He’s not really…i mean, all the plants and good gifts are there in the winter. they are just preparing for the show.
    you’re right though. our memories are short. we forget that His abundance is just waiting for us. that there is enough.

    alison chino

    May 22, 2007 at 7:56 am

  4. Surprised by Joy -As another of my favorites would say


    May 23, 2007 at 9:53 pm

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