Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear Reader, You are Bright.

Not long ago, I wrote you a letter. I'm a letter-writer by nature, you know, and I was struggling to find the words on this blog and so I wrote to you, and told you that you are extraordinary.

And today I wanted to continue that letter, and tell you another true thing about you. I mean you, sitting there at your laptop or on your iPhone, reading between sips of coffee (I hope it's a toffee nut latte) or maybe on a fifteen minute break from a project you keep hoping will finish itself. You, with the three beautiful kids who are wrestling and fussing and laughing and screaming. You, who are clinging to a warm mug of tea, or pushing your glasses up onto your forehead to read this (yes, you, I remember that you always did that when you were going to read me the wise words of St. Theophan or St. Mary of Egypt or John Woolman...).

Dear Reader,

Some days make us doubt the point of it all, of working so hard, of giving so much. Some days are pounding rain days where your whole head gets soaked trying to lock your front door so the cat and dog don't get out into the rain days. The sky looks like a wet watercolor painting, and the air whistles and sighs alongside you. There are those days.

I have to tell you, I have had my fair share of those days this semester. It's been hard, the kind of hard that aches in your heart, and doesn't let go, and tugs you along. I have to tell you that there have been days where I have doubted the point of it all. When the sky seemed to promise nothing but rain, and grey, and question after question.

But then, you wouldn't believe this, but I got sick. My body gave up, its resources drained and tired, and I crawled into bed on Sunday and spent the next 24 hours in between naps and cups of tea and tissues and cough drops, and I woke up to stretch and read and then go back to sleep.

And you wouldn't believe how much of a difference it made. When I woke up, the sun was out, and the sky was turning the colors of fall, and the wind seemed to laugh with me. And it is so beautiful here, the air feels almost golden and so clean, and reader? There is more beauty than you'd ever believe. 

I sense that maybe you've been having one of those days, one of those hard, long, days. I sense that maybe in the midst of all that is wonderful your heart is a little weary, a little sad?

I just wanted to tell you that you are bright. You illuminate the world. You illuminate my life. You jumped onto my bed on Thursday night and with your big brown eyes and your patient smile and your thoughtful words you reminded me that not all questions have answers immediately. You wrapped your arms around me when I found you outside Terminal B and I felt so safe, so taken care of. You prayed over me, sitting on a bench by a path on campus, for delight and peace and behold, it arrived, and you rejoiced with your laugh and your smile. You leaned across miles and miles of megabytes and offered time with you and baby Zoe and bloggers, just when I needed it, and teach me just how much the Father knows us. You drink tea in our apartment and throw your hands in the air when the idea hits you and you smile your mischievous smile and I watch all of the lights twinkle in your mind. You hold my heart in your heart. You hold so many people's hearts in your heart. You teach the world to be kind and thoughtful. You bring home bundles of ideas and build cardboard fireplaces in our apartment amid earnest discussions of world religions. You laugh with me so freely that the pictures we captured at your wedding don't even begin to capture the joy you create in the world. You drive with me late into the night with the sounds of Zoe Keating and Ludovico and your own beautiful voice sounding through the stereo and the music feeds our souls.

You are bright.

You shine, even in the midst of the weariness and the sadness and the questions that pile up like a hundred thousand leaves.

You have a radiance I don't have words for, but I watch with awe and amazement. I long for you to see it as clearly as I do, reader, see it the way I see your words on my screen or your handwritten scrawl in my mailbox or when I see you, walking across the Quad or down the street or when I think of you - how radiant you are.

Thank you for sharing your light with me, for calling out across the waters of time and distance and space, one lighthouse to another, blinking love and care and peace. If you haven't had someone in your day, tell you how glad they are that you are you, here is my small attempt: Thank you for the luminescence of you.

All my love to you, 


  1. i know i always tell you you're sweet and beautiful, hilary. . . but you also inspire me. in a world where your generation (yes, i'm generalizing here) is truly struggling, you are this bright star, and i just love seeing your light shine. my girls are still young, but i want them to have your freshness when they are your age, an excitement for life, a passion for what they are about. i see that in you. i think it is what makes you oh-so-very special. and i just happened to read this after two hours of working on Latin with my kiddos and working myself into quite a headache-state! it was nice to receive a refreshing word :-)
    hope you have a beautiful rest of the week.

  2. This was beautiful, Hilary. Tell me, will I get to meet you at Relevant?

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