“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. So I take the memories as they come, accepting them all.” — Nicholas Sparks
I haven’t been online much recently, as I’m struggling to gain my bearings in a world that seems relentlessly unpredictable, sometimes tragically so. In just the last couple of weeks, I’ve struggled to wrap my mind around 70 people being shot at the movies, the shocking illness and death of one of my family members, and all the other sudden impacts that alter people’s lives forever. How does the sun keep shining as if nothing has happened? These unexpected blows rekindle the pain of past losses and future fears, those I thought I had sufficiently vanquished.
And yet. The tragedies in the world (and in my life) are often juxtaposed with little triumphs. Co-existing with disaster are moments of beauty, unexpected acts of kindness, and expressions of love. There are surges of helplessness, followed by bursts of inspiration and gratitude. My uncle passes away suddenly, and yet his grandchild is being born days later. Somehow, life springs forth in the shadow of death. Possibility enters in the face of loss. Human connection saves us when we thought we were alone.
Stephanie Meyer wrote, “Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.” Or perhaps it is just our burden—and our gift—to live with it all as it comes, learning what we can, and leaning on each other.