portrait of a life: rich

“The world is awash with miracles,” he thought. “How marvelous to simply bear witness.”

The Line that Held Us by David Joy

In the spillover light from my dining room, Daisy looks for her Dentastix stuck behind the couch cushion. Once found, she stretches out like a sphinx and nibbles on her prize.

It’s chilly and foggy today, the weather reminding me of a camping trip a few years ago. I spent the day with my mom watching crime shows on Netflix and enjoying coffee, the scent of hazelnut from my creamer providing an under-appreciated sense of comfort.

It is a good day. Maybe not the most productive, but the most needed. Restful, calm, and nostalgic.

I finished reading The Line that Held Us, a beautifully written book by David Joy. Pulled from the eloquently crafted story is this idea: we are all held together by who and what we love most.

It’s a thought-provoking sentiment, one I’ve been thinking about all day, even as I watched crime shows and flipped through my web browser looking at organic soap.

The profound thought, resonating, makes me feel extra proud of my life today. Extra meditative and appreciative of the things that make it uniquely mine:

Daisy and her quests for long-lost Dentastix, her diploma from her intermediate training graduation displayed proudly on the table as a reflection of all the hard work, dedication, frustration, and true joy the experience had been.

My house and its floors printed with muddy paw-prints, the smell of sandalwood, and the hum of my dryer as it reverberates through the old, creaking bones of the structure.

My mother, braver than she knows, always listening in a way I’m sure only mothers know. Spending time with her over coffee is one of my favorite things. Her wisdom is wealth to me and her faith is treasure.

Good books that move me, make me think and zoom out and appreciate all the things I’m tempted to take for granted.

This practice of meditation is how I want my life to be. Maybe, by taking the time to love in action all the things I love in abstract, I can become a mirror, reflecting all that’s worth loving in action in others’ lives.

Maybe that’s too far of a stretch and too noble of a pursuit. Maybe it means I’m too self-important. But in the words of Donald Miller, sometimes the only way to love something is to watch someone else love it first.*

However it all pans out, whether I am a reflection or not, I want to take less time in online check-outs buying material possessions promised to make me feel rich, and I want to ground down in the truth every day: I am rich. Every day, the sun shines down on me and there’s a beautiful earth I call my home and it welcomes me with the full-spectrum ferocity of her weather. I have beautiful things inside me and am given creative opportunities to reveal them, I simply must choose to do so.

And words, complex and expounding as they are, are found lacking when called upon to reveal the depth of richness that is my family. Whether related by blood or otherwise, the abundance of people in my life to show me just how loved I am often takes my breath away.

How blessed am I?

So, with my laundry going and the floors swept and Daisy now snoozing on the couch and House playing on Prime Video, I sit in my blue reading chair and smile.

How enveloped am I by the miracles of life. How rich I am to bear witness.

*Opening anecdote from Donald Miller’s book, Blue Like Jazz.

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