Some Christmas Thoughts

I’m supposed to be working on a talk for Sunday. I’m also supposed to be writing a toast for a friend’s wedding reception. But I just keep thinking about the past couple of days I spent with friends and family. Then I consider the past ten weeks I’ve been able to spend with these loved ones. I play a scene over and over in my head that hasn’t even happened yet, but will happen early Monday morning. It involves my mom and brother and the airport and, inevitably, tears. Gentle sobs catch in my throat now as I think of it.

Change is constant. Christ is constant, because he has endured all change, for all mankind. His birth and life and resurrection carved an example, forged a path for us to follow. A steady, strong, strenthening path. A clear, comforting, consistent path. It instills hope and fosters peace; it carries love. This love is unfailing; it inspires and uplifts and extends beyond mortal might. I’ve felt it especially here in Florida and from miles away. We are children of God. Stretched out still, Christ’s arm reaches down from the firmament and relieves my soul, teaching me all that I must do, so that I can grow from the change that awaits me, so I can continue to be grateful for friends and family who so ably and amply … love.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

The List, Part 2

Toss a ball
Fly a kite
Paddle a canoe (kayak)
Drive to Palmyra AND Niagara Falls – Canada!
Ride a bike (need to do again)
Explore a Governor’s Island (need to explore more)
Chillax on a beach
Enjoy Shakespeare in the Park
Enjoy more live music (ongoing)
Experience all the kinds of NYC hot dogs
Attend the circus and boardwalk at Coney Island
Camp in the woods
Hike on a trail
Sit and read in a park (could be ongoing)
Don’t get mad whenever my roommate’s half of the room explodes onto my half
Et cetera – what else should I do?

Summer is almost over.

Three Things About the Trip

1. Take what you can get
People give what they can
It’s not all about you
It’s not personal, except when it is
Recognize when it is
Isn’t that right, Canadian border patrol lady?

2. Give all you can
Moments matter
Because the people you love matter
And you never want to regret holding back
Especially when you’re one of the two people
Awake in the car
And the other person is driving

3. All time is quality time

I learned about geotagging on the iPhone. I learned a lot about other people and myself. I learned stuff that I’ll wait to write about, just because I need to think about it a while. Although this writing is vague, my heart is full, and my perspective is clear.

Also, if you ever get the chance to ride/drive a Nissan Cube, take it. You’ll get more attention than you could ever imagine.

Pictures to come. Maybe even video.

Thanks for a wonderful time.

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

Officially, this is my first Independence Day as an American citizen. A draft of something lengthy and involved and emotional and largely unfinished sits on my laptop. I hope it emerges eventually.

I love this country. I love my freedoms here. I love the servicemen who devote their lives to keep this country safe and relatively secure. I love this country’s founding fathers and their vision. I want their vision, especially when we get things wrong.

I love my family and their sacrifice and unending support. I love my friends.

I love seeing new and different people every day, making eye contact that means we know we’re in the greatest country in history.

These thoughts are no different from previous years. But a friend reminded me yesterday of my citizenship, and I got excited, and I started clapping, and now there’s all this … power.

I’ve lived and worked and thought like an American for all of my life. People have assumed I was American for just as long.

And now I am. I wish I could describe it. There’s nothing like it.

Happy Independence Day. Happy July 4th. Share the excitement about being American.

I’m off to a picnic and maybe attempt to watch the fireworks. We’ll see.