Saturday, December 5, 2009

Innocent Again

I've tried starting this blog three times. The words aren't coming as easily as they usually do, so I apologize if it sounds clumsy.

Yesterday we got some very brief snow flurries, lasting for about 45 minutes. It didn't stick, and it didn't get heavy, but it was snow, and that was enough. We had to have Digital Literature class outside that day (I love how God puts things together like that). As we all walked, watching tiny pieces of white drift against the glowing scarlet of the Bradford Pear trees' leaves, snow caught in our scarves and brushing our faces, I allowed myself to be lost in its beauty. Snow has that effect on me. It always has, from the time I was a young child. I can clearly remember every time in my life that I've seen snow.

It is, for me, a piece of something supernatural. Its beauty, its purity, its peace, are like tiny pieces of the joy we were meant to live with. It's hard to even explain it with words, because words are earthly, and snow isn't for me. It never has been. It is, like rainbows and the sun when it's raining, a sign of God's faithfulness and His beauty. And it is awe-inspiring.

Aside from that, it pushed me to step beyond walls for a while. I can't say that I forgot about paperwork, and paychecks, and long hours at work, and finals, and grades, and responsibilities. I was still getting what I needed to done, and I had an awareness of it. But as snow caught in my eyelashes and melted on my warm skin, I felt innocent again. I felt that unhindered joy of a little girl seeing something magical.

I'm the same way with Christmas lights. I spent nearly three hours putting lights on our tree this week, because we have a complex and thorough way to put lights on that makes the whole tree glow from the inside out. I can still remember when my mother used to do the lights at night, and I would get up the next morning to find the tree glittering and shining. Several times it made me cry it was so beautiful. This year, even though it was me making the magic happen, and even though by the end my hands were scratched and my shoulders ached, I keep going back and looking at the lights. They're still beautiful. To say they make me happy would fall short. The lights are more like joy, more like hope. Not because of a holiday, or tradition. But because the constancy of the light, the way it glows in the dark, the way it transforms a shabby plastic tree and a worn living room, is something beautiful. Light can make ugly things beautiful again, can remind us of what it is to hope.

Sometimes I think I try too hard. I think I try too hard to make things work, to say the right things, to earn enough money, to maintain a high GPA, to mend things outside of my control. I think there's value in being innocent again. Some might call it being sentimental. Others might call it immature. I would call it joy. And I think God meant it that way. There are times to be mature, times to take on the weight of responsibility and consequence. Even the act of loving can be a heavy burden to bear. But He also meant for us to live, to accept the joy He so faithfully offers. I think He wanted us to love the starlight, the snow, the light in the dark, sunrises and sunsets and smiles and rainbows. I think it's even alright to enjoy nights at Starbucks with good coffee and good company. If you're reading this, I hope you have things like that too-- small things that are beautiful and feel like hope. More than that, I hope you know you're allowed to hold onto them and to let the light shine through weariness and hurt and frustration.

Joy is never too far away. God reminded me yesterday.

- Elraen -


MementoMorrie said...

That was beautiful.
I can think of nothing else to say. That was just beautiful.

Liz said...

i don't really have many words to say here except you remind me of jamie a LOT in how you write =) it's thought-provoking and it changes perspective. gives hope♥ merry Christmas mary.

Tim and Chrissy G. said...

You said it perfectly! Yesterday I found myself twirling around in the parking lot looking up at the sky with such joy .For the first time since I've been living in Texas I felt at home. Of course I didn't take into account that there are windows on the facilities services building and that people were looking out. Apparently it's childish or something to dance around in snowflakes...Hmph. :) Beautiful post Mary.

MangyCat said...

Everytime I read your blog, there are quotes I want to pull out to treasure forever. You so naturally express your thoughts and state of being. If you say it isn't easy and that it is a struggle, then I say to you that you make it LOOK easy and completely second nature.

You are a beautiful young lady with so much heart and soul for the world spinning around you. How blessed I am to be a part of that.


Warrior Maiden said...

Eerily enough, I asked myself a question at church tonight and had no answer, and came home and found it in your blog.

Jessica said...

This was beautiful and inspiring. Thanks so much, Raen! You rock, girl. You're truly one of my best friends and your insight in these posts never ceases to amaze me. Keep it up. And thank you for writing this. -- Angel