At the start of summer we received a letter from a college friend of our daughter Jocelyn. "Sam" writes an annual solstice letter that always includes a small work of art...often utilizing words in unusual patterns, delivering meaningful or mysterious (at least to me) messages. This year was a heartfelt poem combined with his usual few words of hello. He ended his brief note with this uncommon phrase, "I hope your days are filled with energy and satisfaction; plus challenges to balance it out."
Although no one has ever wished me challenges "to balance my days," I actually found this phrase refreshing. And real. Sam is a person who has faced many obstacles, so I knew this was not a sentiment written lightly. He is also aware of some of the crises we have faced in our lives. I think the thing I love most about his yearly pieces of "communal art" is the authenticity and honesty he packs into them. Even when they relay sadness, I smile at his unique, often quirky way of sharing himself with others.
I happened upon a little video today that reminded me of Sam. I believe that in his way, Sam is trying to do what the little boy in this video does: make an impact on other's lives through small gestures. This "imagined" scenario is sappy to be sure (it contains the "I dare you not to cry" factor) but it is an example of sharing oneself with others [double-click on the video, or the words will be cut off. Warning: there is a stock photo of an extremely thin woman, which may be troubling--I wish I could've removed it--actually wish I could delete most of the pix--they do not add to the "story"]:
Ok, this video really needed a much stronger "saccharine" warning (and how in the world did that blind little boy run off to pick another flower??) ...but it did remind me of Sam's sincere spirit and his wish for us to have just enough trials to allow us to maintain our equilibrium. He would be appalled at this comparison--he never pulls the cheap "cry" card--there's no explaining the odd connections my mind makes.
And now instead of wishing you mere blessings, I hope this Labor Day weekend is filled with "energy and satisfaction" with just enough challenges to balance it out.
[Originally posted on the Gürze Books Eating Disorders Blogs]