Over the past few months, I have repeatedly asked myself what it means to be a soul in this world, and how I can possibly learn all that I must to become wise in this one, single, limited life. The answers have come to me in fragments, and while I don’t know that I will ever have a complete understanding of who I am and who I am meant to be, I have uncovered some profound truths, undeniable nuggets of wisdom.
Difficulty is part of being alive. Those moments define us, teach us, refine us. By the time we have reached “maturity,” we have become weathered by the experiences, making us either wise or bitter. And during such times, we see how fragile we are, how tenuous is the thread that connects this world to the next. There are lessons to be learned as we become vulnerable, opening ourselves up to the possibilities that we are always growing, even in our weakest moments. And perhaps in that, we encourage others to grow with us.
I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people who have known me for decades and those whom I have recently met. I have been fed and hugged; I have shared laughter and tears; I have received heartfelt notes and been lifted in prayer, supported in unimaginable ways as my name is whispered to God on my behalf. These are blessings, of course, but they are the expression of love, that warm presence that gives everything its strength. This is the foundation of miracles, I think. For what is a miracle other than the manifestation of love?
And so as I sit here the night before my surgery, I realize that life is about destination points. This is a big one, a reordering of the travel map. And although I never consciously realized it, I have prepared for this trip my whole life. Thanks to all of you who have sustained me on this journey, aided me along the way. Trust me: I have miles to go before I sleep. (Thank you, Robert Frost)