I wish we had a tin roof on a screened porch; so I could sway on an hammock and drift off to sleep. Instead, I am perched on a set of steps inside the school where some of our kids are finishing up their year. Bittersweet. I am so thankful that they are all alive and healthy enough to move up through the grades!
However, a part of my mother heart thinks it’s a bit hard today; acknowledging that next fall we will have two middle school children, three in the upper years of grade school, and one who will be almost finished with being a teenager. *sigh* They are no longer little children, but instead; they are becoming young adults…and hopefully they are maturing into the people that they were created to be.
I sit, listening to the mixture of sounds that surrounds me. I hear the excited whoops and hollers of the older students as they pop balloons in their classroom (this is the brilliant activity dreamed up by a wise teacher who wanted “controlled chaos” on the last day! =) ).
I see the expressions of the younger students, mostly ecstatic about summer; but some carrying a tender look of mild trepidation and uncertainty. I watch the bittersweet goodbyes to those who will be elsewhere next year; as friends and colleagues smile bravely in spite of their obvious desire to let their tears run freely.
I wish that there was another word to properly express poignant joy and sorrow mixed into one giant emotion. It’s like watching a two-tone cake batter get stirred together; while still retaining the individual colors.
James and I stumbled upon this little shack on one of our many meanderings. It resonated with us; mostly because of the way that all of the different colors unite to make one building.
I am learning that life holds both deep grief and pain alongside immense joy and overwhelming celebration. Once upon a time, I couldn’t accept both parts together. Now, however; I see how the rough parts make the beautiful ones even more vibrant.
Today, I am thankful for the pain and sorrow even as I sit and soak up the joyful moments of celebration.
Together, they make a vivid, unexpected masterpiece.