Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Beauty of all the Mess

View from Mt. Pisgah
It’s fall, my favorite time of the year.  Temperature, the shift to crispness in the air, leaves doing their magical color-changing that leads to an explosion of color in the mountains I get to look at everyday.  Perfect weather for weekend hiking, playing outside with my 3-year-old, satisfying jogs through the neighborhood.   Early morning walks to work give me the first glimpses of a pink-orange sky becoming visible just above the Blue Ridge.  I am beyond fortunate to wake up, every morning, into the stunning beauty of this place.
       I walk into work, embraced by the sunrise, and enter a world that does not notice the sunrise for the same reasons I do.  As I weave my way through the men and women huddled together for warmth on the porch, I realize they wait for the sunrise not because of its beauty, but for its signal of the temperature rising.   The cool, brisk evenings that bring me such joy mean a need for more blankets and sleeping bags in the campsites many of these folks sleep in at night.  Holding together beauty and brokenness, in the same place, in one moment makes it difficult to open the door.
A HOPE Day Center front steps
            There’s a lot going on.  In my life.  At work.  Around the world.  My patience with systems that create and then perpetuate the brokenness I walk through everyday is gone, if I ever had any to begin with.  I watch my daughter get showered with gifts for her 3rd birthday, am happy she is loved and adored by so many.  And I watch her pile of stuff grow, things she doesn’t need and would not miss if they were not there.  An abundance of toys and clothes for one small child.  My toys look a little different, but I have an abundance of them all the same.  Clothes, too.
            I get up every morning, to give what I can to the task of moving this little corner of the world to a different place, most of the time hopeful that it’s possible.  And, most days, making more mistakes than not.  I’ve got a lot to learn about integrating my own life in a way that moves me closer to the folks I see everyday, and not farther away.  It’s all messier than I could have imagined as I drove across the country to land in Asheville in the summer of 2008.  Nothing in my life looks like I expected it to.  Brokenness and healing.  Despair and beauty.  All in one moment. 
            Above and through it all, so much gratitude for the life I get to experience everyday.

1 comment:

C N R said...

Powerful. Heartfelt. Thanks for sharing. I will carry it with me in my heart today. :-)