I write this to the gentle sound of ripples lapping the Atlantic shore, from a rustic beachfront cottage on Long Island Sound, generous cup of coffee at hand.
I write this on the eve of our youngest graduating from an elite university, one of the world’s finest. She’s garnered honors and accolades, and will be elaborately feted, along with classmates, over the next few days.
I write this knowing, though, that she has personal challenges, and no job or immediate Plan B other than moving back home. And the contrast between public expectations and private reality feels like embarrassing, albeit momentary, failure.
I write this while in gloriously good middle-aged health, despite needing to lose more than a little weight. Exercise, food choices, stress strategies, and genetic-lottery good luck have fused to move me forward to this sublime day, gazing at the shell-strewn beach 20 feet beyond this open window.
I write this, too, as a friend lays dying from pancreatic cancer. She has everything to live for: family, friends, love, a secure and happy future. But she won’t live to see 2014.
I write this in the aftermath of being treated like a crook and common thief for wanting to use a debit card to secure a car we fully paid for a month ago. (Never use Avis. Ever…) But I also write this as someone who went down the street (to Hertz), and without reservations, easily rented a top-of-the-line SUV for $100 less than the the first (dilapidated!) vehicle.
I write this as a citizen of the greatest country in world history, a nation built on the fair promise of freedom, opportunity, and dignity for all people. On the enlightened recognition that all people are created equal, and endowed by their gracious Creator with natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I write this, though, as a political analyst who is painfully aware of the deception, ugly gamesmanship, and destructive greed that bogs down national leadership of all political leanings.
I write this to the gentle sound of ripples lapping the Atlantic shore, from a charming, rustic-chic beachfront cottage on Long Island Sound.
But the Connecticut sky is gray blue and flecked with clouds. Salty sea stench fills my senses. The coffee is lukewarm.
Life is mysterious and ebbing and capricious. Life is so very beautiful and precious. Life is hard, too. Life is victorious gain, but it’s also filled with loss.
I write this to remind myself again that life is not perfect. That despite appearances, no one’s life is perfect. That we all struggle. That we all strive to live a life of balance between joy and sorrow, realistic optimism and cruel reality, generous love and callous self-interest.
That our reality depends on how we choose to view the world, the event, the person. And if we choose to love.
I write this to remind myself again “… that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”