Looking for balance

yellow via kimberlyanncoyle.com

Ages ago, probably on a day I had a good night’s sleep and a glass of wine in my hand, I agreed to participate in another Ragnar relay race. This time, we’ll run in autumn in the Adirondacks. Really, it doesn’t get much better, except for the insanity that is twelve people running 200+ miles together in a 24 hour period. Once again, I question why I do this, and once again I’m reminded that not all of life takes place between my ears.

I leave Friday for the race, and while dreading the physicality of it, I look forward to giving my brain a rest. Mulling–I’m doing too much of it these days. The same old questions and conundrums feel like they’re on repeat. I need to give the old head and heart a break.  I need time to enjoy witty banter in a van full of people, eat a few too many candy bars, and remember what amazing things our bodies can do.

Yesterday, I sat in the pediatrician’s office and listened to a little boy tell everyone in the waiting room “Today’s my birf-day. My birf-day is today!!!” His mom gently corrected him with the reminder he celebrated his birf-day last week. This didn’t deter him, and he continued to say it, so proud. I loved his innocence and his insistence that today, this very day is all about celebrating him.

A few minutes later, a woman walked up to the counter and in an insurance dispute with the office manager finally declared, “My husband died in May, we had to switch insurances.” I flinched. The mama with the birthday boy flinched. I darted a quick look at the widow’s teenage son, and his eyes remained locked on the ground.

Her statement sucked all the air out of the room, until not thirty seconds later, the little boy shouted, “Today’s my birf-day! My birf-day is today!” And he performed a little dance in the center of the room. Isn’t it just like life to bring grief and joy into one place together and let them rub shoulders? Without one, we wouldn’t understand the depth of the other.

I hope this weekend will bring a sense of lightness to balance out some of my mulling and head-scratching lately. I hope this first autumn weekend kisses you with its soft glow, bringing you the same.