raced the river

Last night, I raced the river (chasing the current like I thought I could catch up) with a silly smile across my face. The trees had shaken off the snow from the mysterious Spring storm and I shared the path with bikers, runners, dogs, and the most adorable lady with a walker. I threw my smile at all of them, giggling at the children who roamed unaware of the etiquette I assume is standard on any city path (don’t walk directly towards someone running in your direction).

I raced the river and caught several times on the breeze what C.S. Lewis would describe as “joy.” It was an excitement that fluttered with a “heaven-like longing” that cannot be fully satisfied on earth, but even the presence of the longing overflowed in delight.

Dr. Jerry Root explains one of the central themes in Lewis’s writing, heavily influenced from his own experiences with Joy. He spoke reverently in “Surprised by Joy,” his autobiography, about the brief passing moments where he experienced an unexplainable bliss and then was left to figure out how to experience it again.

Well, anyway… as I raced the river last night I knew I wouldn’t catch it. I knew I could not really take in the beauty of the cool early evening in the way I wanted to, the way the evening wanted me to. I think that was part of the blissful moment – knowing there was too much beauty to take in, even if I drank in every scene as I ran on the path.

So, my joy bubbled out because it couldn’t be contained. The river, the overcast sky, the families, the bikers, the little old lady with her walker, and the children wandering out into the middle of the action – all these very simple and mundane threads in the fabric of a Sunday night, but every bit a reason to smile.

Sunday evenings are great medicine for Monday mornings, yes? The scenes are different, but there is joy hidden in this day – the sunshine, the birds, and that crazy owl that is trying to tell me a story. I’m on my way to a staff meeting, but I’ll first be dropping off these little love bundles for “every day in May” creative challenge.

blessings, stamped and ready for sending
blessings, stamped and ready for sending

 

Spring is waking the slumbered

I never thought my heart would race at full parking lots or that my lips would form a smile at the line of shirtless men fishing off the 4th Street bridge. Nope, never thought I’d be getting a rush from the sound of a lawn mower or the open-window chatter in the neighborhood.

Does Spring race your heart? It does mine.

I was running the river path, breathing in the hot Spring air and battling the strong breeze. My feet pounded steady while my thoughts jostled into some sense, but I kept wanting to giggle. I did a few times, I think. All those white-chested, shirtless men on 4th Street were quite the spectacle – with their fishing poles hanging lazy over the bridge. You know, just city fishing on a Sunday afternoon.

I loved it. I think it’s because Spring shakes out all the winter slumber of indoor activities. Spring beckons us to come out and frolic in it’s sunshine. Have you noticed it is incredibly hard to say “No” to a barbeque or a picnic or a walk in the park when Spring arrives? Am I the only one who feels the stretching and waking of Spring in my soul? I wanted to stop and savor the city fisherman and the crowd of bikers at the bar and the full parking lot at the park.

I wanted to let the delight sink in.

Maybe Spring doesn’t inspire you. Maybe your neighbor doesn’t have the most beautiful flowering magnolia tree. Maybe your neighbors don’t grill out on their patios and play latin music. Maybe where you are from, people stay indoors and don’t mow their lawns or pick up sticks in the front yard. Maybe the sun doesn’t shine on the river and the breeze doesn’t feel electric against your skin. Maybe your neighbors don’t accept your dinner invites and maybe you don’t have a patio set that your dad picked up at a thrift store.

I guess I could see how that kind of Spring would have a hard time waking you from winter slumber.

let LOVE fly like cRaZy