A reflection on summer, and ultimately, on life
|The weather in the past few weeks have been glorious, with plentiful sunshine bringing forth flowers and birdsongs. The temperature hovers at that perfect threshold where exertion can thaw the body, but the shade still provide cool comfort. In these past weeks, I have enjoyed sitting down on a bench in the shade, or lying down on my bed with the shutters wide open, and just reflecting. No philosophical musings about matters of life and death- rather, just remembering and anticipating.
The warmth seeping into my body reminds me that summer will soon arrive, and I can rejuvenate myself at home. It also takes me to past summers. It reminds me of family vacations to California, swims at the neighborhood pool, mission trips to Mexico, pickup hoop games at a nearby elementary school, and yes, even lying prone on the carpet and observing the dust float aimlessly against the background illumination of the sunshine flooding in.
And as I reflect, I realize that during not one of these moments was I truly happy. Yes, I may have felt occasional satisfaction or elation. But even these moments were marred by the stray fear, doubts, and worries. And I am reminded that in this fallen world, I will never be completely happy. I must accept the human condition; to acknowledge the imperfection of myself, of others, and of life in general. I must grasp the fragility of life in one hand, and the desire for perfection on the other.
To emphasize either one of the two extremems would be dangerous. Both the person who expects heaven here on earth and the person who lingers only in the shadows of life will be disappointed in the end. The one who accepts the human condition, who has walked along the valleys of life but still keeps his head erect and his gaze steadily forward, the one who has yielded his delusional optimism yet not his idealistic yearnings- is he not the type we most admire and desire to emulate?