Friday, September 22, 2006

The Only Appropriate Response

Ever have one of those moments (or days, or weeks, or years) when you’re inexplicably grateful for everything? I’m having one right now.

The moments (or days or weeks or years) haven’t come all that often for me lately, and I’m reveling in it. I’ve spent the majority of the past two years asserting my idealized versions of the way things SHOULD be, failing to live up to them, and woefully refusing to repent, retreat or reposition. But something has shifted, and the emotion I’m feeling most often now is grateful awe.

I’m grateful for people. I’m grateful for the inexhaustible mystery of the other, and our unending attempts at exhausting it. I’m grateful for my families, here and there and across the country. I’m grateful for constant and ever-expanding friendships, for old friends and new, those who know me and hold me and push me to become something more.

I’m grateful for place. I’m grateful for the crowded city that pushes us together whether we want to face one another or not. I’m grateful for the buildings that house us and hold us and offer walls within which we can eat, sleep, learn and doubt. I’m grateful for an apartment whose dirty carpets and leftover food testify to its hospitality, for a door that doesn’t require locking and friends who don’t feel the need of knocking.

I’m grateful for time. I’m grateful for these years for thinking and preparation, reading and writing and arguing. I’m grateful for these months of sunshine and rain and cool. I’m grateful for days spent in class and worship, hearing and speaking and praying. I’m grateful for hours spent with others and hours spent alone, for moments of grace and sparks of revelation.

I wish I knew how the transition from cynicism to thanks took place, what I did or what was done to me to move from an all-encompassing condescension to this disposition of wonder at everything around me. There must be some triggering mechanism. I want to figure it out so that the next time I’m stuck in my own little world of gloom, I can whip out the trick and float myself back up above it.

Maybe it’s the change of seasons, the replacement of Atlanta’s oppressive summer humidity with an unusual fall chill. Or the feeling of comfort and assurance that comes from being in one place with the same people for several years. It could be the recent birthday I celebrated, catapulting me into my mid-twenties and forcing me to become An Adult, or the recognition that I will soon leave this set-apart time, move to another unknown place and be far away from what have become some of my very favorite people. I’m not sure. But even for the uncertainty, I am grateful.



these people

this place

this time

1 comment:

Karen said...

You have recognized it and talked about it many times - grace.