Streams of Light
The other day I was driving on the freeway out to Kaysville to take Dust to work. My eye was drawn upward, to the fencing on the overpass I was about to pass under. Someone had arranged several plastic blue cups to spell out three words. Three simple words, carefully placed together with purpose - seemingly just for me and my gloomy mood.
U R ALIVE.
"You are alive," I repeated in my mind, squinting my eyes and furrowing my brow as I pondered on the thought for a second. You are alive.
"You are right! We are alive!" I exclaimed out loud as I hit my steering wheel with my hand.
This last week has gotten better for all of us. Our hearts are a little lighter, our smiles a little more free. In fact, I received a few Mother's Day presents that were better than any physical gift anyone could give me. I heard Dust belly laugh. A few times! There are not many things that can make my whole soul feel good like a carefree laugh from this man I love so much. I watched him smile and enjoy the day with a light and happy countenance.
Together we watched Coley tell story after story with such excitement that his eyes would widen as his voice grew louder and louder. We laughed at our brother in law as Instagram's newest #inexperiencedhashtagger. (It's #selfie not #selfish, just in case you were wondering). We learned Haley knows what a dog is and might think she is one! (Lots of tongue wagging, panting, and barking from that silly little thing!) We saw Cole, all red-faced and squealing as he and his cousin Jack ran from the biggest kid of all, their "Unca Er".
I listened to my sweet husband express profound gratitude to his Father in Heaven that he gets to watch our funny little Haley take her first steps, that he gets to wrestle and play with his sweet Cole, that The Lord was willing to show him such mercy and love.
It was a really sweet Mother's Day for me. I couldn't help but to be so very thankful for the things we have, the things Dust can do, the things he is able to see. I wrapped my arms around his big, strong body, and just let myself feel happy in his arms, grateful that he is still here. I can touch him. I can see him. I can talk to him. And he can do the same right back. Sometimes - especially when things get really hard - I forget to be grateful for all of the amazing blessings we do have. I forget to be grateful for the lessons learned in the midst of the struggle.
Last night, we grabbed the kids and headed into the garage to load up in the car to go get some dinner. Inside the garage, I could hear the rain pouring down outside. I reached up, pushing the button to open the garage door.
As the door slowly opened, I was surprised to see the most beautiful streams of light reaching through the surrounding storm. It literally stole my breath for a minute. I couldn't believe what a difference the sun makes!
Just a few days earlier, dark, heavy clouds layered thick through the sky. The absence of light making the same rain threatening and scary.
In the middle of that gloomy storm, I headed out for a run. I stepped off the porch and winced as the rain hit my face. I wondered if I should just stay home, but crinkled my nose and decided to put my ear muffs on and brave the weather.
Let me tell you a little secret that I learned that day - there is something so freeing about running in the rain! I can't quite put my finger on what makes it so different. It just feels so good to let go - to let the rain soak into your hair, dampen your clothes and drip down your face.
With a few blocks left to go, as if it were hand-picked for this point in my run, the most perfect song came reaching through my headphones.
"It's all alright," the singer triumphantly echoed my thoughts. "I guess it's all alright. I've got nothing left inside of my chest, but it's all alright."
I threw my arms out, my head back and opened my chest to the raging sky. Letting go of control over what I want, I embraced the storm. Pulling the cool, damp air deep into my lungs, I thought to myself - it is alright! Right now. Just the way it is. It might be pouring rain and I might be soaking wet, but it is alright.
I do, however, love the days where the sun comes bursting through the clouds in the middle of the storm to help me realize how truly beautiful the rain can be. I am thankful for the rays that are so often cast in our direction.