Peach House in Kinston, North Carolina
Over Memorial Day weekend, Justin & I managed to marathon-watch the entire Harry Potter series on film. Every time I watch the series as a whole, I'm struck deeply, emotionally, by the epic battle of good & evil, of right & wrong, of light & darkness. The stark contrast of the two always takes me by surprise, & I am always, always subject to what feels like an emotional cleansing of sorts. I am always renewed & refreshed & restored.
It's easy to remember who has wronged us in this life. It is easy to tether ourselves to firmly-rooted grudges. It is easy to look upon a memory with rolled eyes & a seething, muttered word. It is easy to avoid places that garner feelings of inadequacy, places that remind us of the wrongs that have befallen us at the hand of another.
But, imagine returning to those places & choosing to see only the light. To see the solid wood frame of a house, peach-hued in color, with a creaking porch & a screened-in swinging door. To pour yourself a styrofoam cup of sweet tea, awaiting the arrival of your not-really-that-good quiche & better-than-you-expected spread of fruit. To sit at a back corner table alone, soaking in only the delightful & painted pastels of your time in this rural, archaic town. To remember only the wondrous routine of rising early, dressing to the nines, & shivering in your office while clutching a steaming cup of black coffee from the kitchen. To call to mind the nervous stomach that preceded adventurous trips home. To remember with a pang of sadness the night you spent distraught in front of the baggage claim, & crying all the way to Kinston from Raleigh. To remember that there can be joy in sadness, because it means you are alive, you are feeling, you are attuned to the importance of every little other life that happens to overlap with yours.
There is comfort in knowing that we, as humans, have a choice. We can choose to be bogged down & loathsome. We can choose to stew in our miseries, to cast blame & proclaim doubt. Or we can choose the other side: we can choose the light. We can choose to brighten another's day, whether or not we feel it necessary. We can lighten another's load, we can smile & that be enough. We can be kind & good & helpful & vivacious. We can choose to be a beacon for others lost at gloomy sea.
I have the emotional wherewithal to choose the light, & choose the light I will. Every time.
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