It’s funny how there always seems to be a balance in life – a yin to every yang. Sometimes our eyes are opened and we witness the sharp contrasts of joy and sorrow in the very same day. I was sitting at a local watering hole, eating my weekly bowl of New England Clam Chowder with my muse, when a dignified older gentleman came up and placed a hand on my shoulder.
His eyes were bright with excitement as he described how his wife, who is very ill, had enjoyed one of my books tremendously, and was very much looking forward to the next one. She has issues with memory, and the fact that she had enjoyed the book gave him so much joy. After he had gone back to his table, leaving me smiling through my tears, I saw that I had a Facebook notification on my phone.
Curious, I opened Facebook, and saw an announcement that brought tears to my eyes for an entirely different reason altogether. A dear friend from high school, who had received a heart transplant a few weeks ago, and was doing very well, passed away last night. My smiled dimmed and disappeared, and my tears of joy were replaced by the sting of pain.
Life is so fragile. Sometimes we’re so busy with “life” that we forget to live, and poignant moments like both of the ones that I described above, are put in our paths to remind us that life is for the living. It brings me such joy to think that my books bring a little sparkle of sunshine to folks who are going through a tough time, yet sorrow touches my heart all too often, in the form of cancer, pain, death, and all of life’s other transitional states.
We all have our yins and our yangs – it’s the mixture of hope and despair, joy and sorrow, that makes life worth living. We have highs and lows, and we laugh and cry because that is our function – to laugh with one another and cry with one another. The alternative is unthinkable – going through life alone, weathering the storms alone, and celebrating our accomplishments alone.
Loving people brings us joy, loving people brings us pain, and loving people is why we’re here.
Hugs and sunshine – Summer