I still believe in writing letters. I like to try to convince myself that there is still such a thing as taking the time to write out your thoughts, whether just for your eyes or for someone elses. That technology hasn't forever overcome the simplicity of a handwritten, thoughtful letter. That there are still some people who see an envelope and get excited, who like the feeling of a crisp piece of paper in their hands covered in words written by someone else just for their eyes.
Maybe I'm old-fashioned. Maybe I like to think that someone would actually take the time to write something rather than typing it out real fast in a text or an email. In a world where everyone is so consumed by social media, cell phones and the like, I still like to have hope that the days of hand-written letters, simple times, and hour-long conversations aren't gone for good.
I'm a dreamer and I want to believe a lot of things. I have a big heart that loves with everything its got. It loves when its fought against, it loves when someone else needs love, and it loves til it couldn't possibly love any more. I see this beautiful life around me, and it's something I can't control. I want those around me to see it too, I want them to feel loved, and I want to see them happy.
I still believe in sunsets. In driving out to the edge of town to see them because otherwise its hard to see with the city lights. Even more so, I believe in sunrises. This morning the freshness of the morning hit me. I get to work about an hour before most of the others, so its very calm in the morning. Today, I walked through the conference room to go to the ice machine and I happened to look out at the quad in the middle of our building. There was a room with the shades drawn open, and everything just seemed so calm and content in that moment. There's just something about sunrises. They give me a sense every morning of new beginnings, of new hopes, a new day of being a light to this world. And when the night rolls around, I believe in the fiery colors of the sunset that eventually change into a sky filled with stars. I believe in lying in the grass, looking at the sky and feeling so finite and small. In lying there for hours and having a conversation with someone, without the distraction of cell phones and TVs. Just you and that person out in the middle of nowhere and the sky full of stars. Nothing more, nothing less; and i believe that's my favorite spot to be.
Whenever I go home, one of my favorite things is you guessed it, sunsets! My brother always asks "Why do you always take pictures of the sunset?" Well, when I'm in the middle of a city and there's buildings blocking my view, I can't really see the pretty colors of the sky, the sun going down and the stars coming out. So even though the pictures don't do it justice, I can't help but capture those moments. The calmest moments of the day. Most nights I'll go outside just to watch it slowly drift down over the top of the timber. We have a deck right outside, so then I'll just lay on a chair and look at the sky or sit on our porch and think, it's something that never ever gets old to me.
I believe in friendships that are true. Some that have been since childhood, while others since the beginning of college or high school. It doesn't really matter how long you've known them, friends can become family just as quickly as they can become someone you hardly know. I believe in the friendships where you don't have to pretend. Where you can be 100% yourself, no makeup, sweatpants, and hair a mess. Where you can lay and not say anything but be completely comfortable. Those who encourage you and support you and make you a better person everyday. Who send you a text or call you or stop by just to see how you're doing. There is such a thing, I promise.
But I also believe in being able to be alone and be content with that. Some days I can't stand being by myself, but most of the time I love it. I could sit by a lake for hours by myself and be the most content person in the world. Rollerblading has been my latest fad lately, so sometimes I'll just blade 4 or 5 miles because I can't get enough of looking at the ducks and geese out on the water. Because the breeze blowing in the trees is so peaceful, and being by myself in that moment is enough for me.
So maybe it does't have to be about believing in the next big thing, because there's some pretty amazing things right in front of us. Lately, I've been a big believer in being outside and being active over a lot of things. There's a lake down the street thats a mile around, so I've been going there a lot. Then I can get my exercise in for the day and sit by the water and think. Think about life, think about the future, think about how blessed I feel every single day that I'm still alive and able to try to make a difference in this world somehow.
Which brings me back to the hand-written letters. The other day I was just starting to get on the path to rollerblade when a guy in the car next to me said ohh its so nice to see a fellow roller-balder out here. And we talked for the next ten minutes. He was 65, newly retired, and told me his future dreams to canoe from Montana to St. Louis, then to hike the Appalachian trail next year, and to bike across the US the year after that. Now those are some dreams I'd love to believe in some day when I'm that age.
I don't know what it was about him, but I went 2 more miles after our talk, and when I was finishing up, he was starting to walk around once more. He'd made it around on his blades once, and threw his arms up in the air when I went past him saying he made it and it was starting his cool down lap. I didn't know if I'd ever see the man again. It's kind of ironic how you can talk to someone and then never see them again. So I didn't want to risk that. I felt God putting something on my heart as I went around those two final laps. I needed to say something to him. So before I pulled off in my car, I found a scrap piece of paper and a pen in my car and I wrote him a note. I wished him luck, that times might get hard but he should always believe in himself, and I told him that I'd be praying for him and safe travels. I had no idea whether he believed in Jesus or not. We'd barely talked about anything but small talk, but I just felt that he needed to hear that. And so I told him. I wrote that note, and I tucked it under his windshield wiper.
And ya know what? I went back out there yesterday, and there he was. He'd bought a new pair of blades and was back to give it another try. He was sitting on a bench fixing his blades when I went past, and he looked up and said, that was a really nice note you left yesterday, I appreciate it. And my heart felt so full because by the look in his eyes, I don't know what it'd done or if it'd done anything at all, but I sensed that just maybe it might have made a difference, or maybe one day it will.
It's not about the big things at all. I love the simple things. The things that take your breath away without even trying because they're so simple yet so amazing. Sometimes its hard in a culture so concerned about appearance, about progress, about the future. But it's nice to be able to take a step back and just be. This moment is all we've got, so we might as well do it while we can. I believe in this moment, and I believe we all have the opportunity to make it greater than we could ever imagine. God's given us this time, this place, these people in our surroundings, these opportunities to do good and to be that first warm ray of sunshine coming out after a long winter.