I've been reading A Circle of Light by Madeleine L'Engle. Here is a part that touched my soul: "Once, when I was very unhappy, Hugh [her husband] and I had to go to a large cocktail party. There was nothing I wanted to do less than get dressed up and have to radiate charm to swarms of people. But we went, and I tried. There was a woman at the party who very quickly had too much to drink because she was lost; she had been widowed; she had not been able to find a new life which was valuable, or in which she felt she had any value. She talked to me and cried into her drink and suddenly she said, "You're a very happy person, aren't you? "I had, at that point, legitimate reason to be miserable. But her question stopped me in my tracks. I looked at her in surprise and gratitude and said, 'Yes, I am.' "This was ten years ago. But the answer is still the same. The better word, of course, is joy, because it doesn't have anything to do with pain, physical or spiritual. . . . Joy is what has made the pain bearable and, in the end, creative rather than destructive. "To be fifty-one in the world of today and to be able to say, 'I am a happy person,' may seem irresponsible. But it is not. It is what keeps me capable of making a response. I do not understand it, or need to. "Meanwhile, I am grateful.'
Her words have rolled around in my mind and I've tasted them in my heart and believe that I can say that I, too, am a happy person. Joy is what makes "pain bearable." And joy is frequently a verb--looking at things in a certain way--doing things from a distinct perspective--making a choice to be happy. I can "joy" in life. I don't believe that means going around with a sappy grin in the midst of trouble. To me it means acknowledging the misery and darkness that abound, but refusing to feast on them and not letting them become who I am. There is glory and beauty in abundance, and I choose to let them be the feast that I internalize. Naivete has its benefits, and I prefer filling up on trust and faith and hope. Like Ms. L'Engle, 'I do not understand it, or need to.' And I, too, "am grateful."
Glory came, this morning, in a little spurt from Aurora's rose-tipped fingers-- so beautiful it hurt.
Glory comes in moments that quickly melt away, yet leave a hallowed memory to echo through the day.
Glory comes in moments so keen they take the breath-- as keen, almost, as resurrection after solemn death.
I had a great time with Kirsten, Rebecca and Spencer in Salt Lake on Tuesday. Here are a few of the photos I took until my camera stopped working. (A temporary malfunction, thank goodness.)
We walked around Temple Square (where I caught a shot of Spencer mid-sneeze in front of the Temple). We also saw where Jorgen and Carolyn were serving their mission at the Family History building.
I have always loved the Salt Lake Temple. The workmanship is amazing and I love the uplift it gives my spirits.
Rebecca and I climbed down to the Memorial Gardens (I'm not sure of the exact name) while Spencer and Kirsten went to see the state Capitol Building. Of course the first thing I ran into on the trail down was a rustling in the weeds that turned out to be a snake. That added a bit of adrenalin to the occasion for me.
The park at the bottom was beautiful. I was reminded again of all who gave their lives to serve their country. A breeze came up and I took a bunch of pictures of the flag which you can see in my blog about the 4th of July.
We went to Gateway Mall and ate supper at the Olive Garden before going swimming at the Ramada Inn, where we stayed the night. It was a nice trip for me! Rebecca is off for two weeks in Texas to visit Mackenzie and Zoe and, of course, Uncle Brent.
I'm extremely normal (whatever that means). I'm usually optimistic and hopeful. For me, emotion seems to precede thought. I have been blessed enough already for more than 60 lifetimes. Family is tops on my list of important things.