I Cry Because…
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I sit in my favorite morning spot on this early fall day, and tears stream down my cheeks.
I have no words for the jumble of emotions that have me so moved by this moment.
Nothing sad, bad, or particularly emotional has happened.
It is the most quotidian of mornings.
But here’s the thing.
I see my dog eating her breakfast with so much focus and desire that it melts my heart.
I see the sun rising over the sacred, beautiful mountains of the Sierra Nevadas. Mountains I’ve felt beneath my feet for miles and miles, and I feel profoundly grounded.
My children are healthy; one is on his way to spend a few days with me, and I’m excited.
My morning coffee is perfect. Just perfect. I went to sleep looking forward to my first sip, which never disappoints. I feel deliciously satisfied.
I woke up to emails, texts, and voice messages from a rich circle of family, friends, and clients, leading me to realize the extraordinary gift of trust bestowed. I’m joyously humbled.
I fill my lungs and every cell with each breath of this sacred mountain air and feel alive.
And I’m moved because I realize that one day, all these simple, everyday joys will no longer be available to me.
One day, I will not be seeing, listening, eating, drinking, loving, laughing, trusting, sharing, serving, holding, caressing, hugging, giving, receiving, walking, running, sleeping, and breathing.
So I cry. Not because I’m sad but because it slows me down to the blessings of the present moment. Crying is my body’s forcing function for accessing gratitude.
I’m not talking about gratitude as a passive response to what we have been given, but as David Whyte puts it beautifully, “Gratitude is not necessarily something that is shown after the event; it is the deep, a priori state of attention that shows we understand and are equal to the gifted nature of life.”
I want to be “equal to the gifted nature of life.”
So, I cry because I know one day I will miss the pleasures of being alive and well, but today and now, gratitude leads me to be awake and responsive to my life's everyday joys and blessings.
I cry because no matter how I try to meet life as an equal — give back as I receive — I fall short.