Only bleached cherry pits under foot and a bright yellow bus and a dad in a rain slicker walking his bike up the sidewalk.
Only kids on the playground playing tag and a girl with jet black hair screaming a warning call with all she’s got.
Only three-year-olds tightrope walking in a circus, moving across a line of charcoal dance floor and bowing proud grins at the applause that follows.
Only tanned biscuit dough stretched across the top of chicken and vegetables.
Only the squeak of trampoline springs and the giggling of girls in leotards on a bright blue mat.
Only a fourth-grader sharing with me about the new “peace club” he started with two other boys to combat bullying at school.
Only their logo and the colors they chose. Yellow, which is happiness, he says, and blue, which is peace and calm “like that relaxed feeling you feel in the shower.”
Only sun breaking small, warm, glorious through pale cloud-streaked sky.
Only each of these, one at a time. And hundreds of them, these pearls of color and texture, sounds, words. Strung together to make our days.
Over these past few months blogging, I’ve known great joy in seeing and fingering these luminescent pearls, stringing them into words to share.
These last months, I’ve realized afresh what I’ve always known. That I don’t want to miss this one chance at life, hobbling through with crazy-eyed anxiety, all of it passing by in a blur of not-enough and should-haves.
I want to draw near to the life that is right here. Come close to the Creator. Pay attention to those he’s placed on every side.
I don’t need to tell you that this life is not perfect. Nor should that be the goal this side of heaven (though I may need you to remind me of this).
Each moment, each day, I can choose. Choose to cup beauty in hands. Give it, give them my full presence.
So much beauty.
Mingled with pain, I can choose to give thanks for this life.
This colorful life strung one shimmering pearl after another.
I want to live fully awake.
Then wake up and do it the next day.
Are you with me?
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I am with you, every step of the way!!! Ashley, what a profoundly beautiful, peace-filled offering. This is one I want to read again and again, and then wake up and read it all over again, again! It’s a treasure, love, pure as a heart of gold. It’s an invitation to Life’s very best of everything, and I accept! xo
I love Ashley how you’ve introduced each little element with “only” – as if it were an ordinary everyday bit of near-nothingness – and then showed how it is not.
Thank you, Mama. So glad to be on this journey with you!
Thanks for the reminder to live fully alive in every moment! I’ve forgotten to seek the beauty this week.
Thank you, Katie. How often I forget, too!
Thank you, so many times I have passed over the moment and missed so much because of it. Mom
Yes, Mom. Me too. Such a journey this “waking up” is.
I love your encouraging & inspiring writing and amazingly, colorful pics. Where did you get all of the cool pics for this post? Did you take the “Live Fully Awake” pic? You and your mom are such a joy. I love your styles and the way you look at life!
Thank you so much for your dear comments, Annie. I did take all of the pictures — I’m so glad you like. And yes, I did the new header, which was super fun. I’m going to keep doing more of it. :)
I am with you as well.. I seek to be aware, fill my day with sunshine, and exist in ‘living color; allow each moment to create a memory and appreciation.
Ashley…I just had a minute between feeding my girls breakfast and picking up the scatterings around my house to read this gorgeous, tingling post. Your words made the hair on my arms stand up straight and brought the tears to my eyes.
“I want to live fully awake.” Yes, this is what I want, more than anything–this is how I want to live my life. I am so completely with you.
Thank you for sprinkling beauty on my morning.
Thank you so much, Julia. What fun to have found each other through Kindy. Thrilled to know that we’ve been able to sprinkle some beauty on each other this last day through common threads of awareness and gratitude. Bless you! And joy for your journey!
Ashley, this connection feels like such a blessing. On my blog you said one of your favorite things is “Resonance with a fellow traveler.” Me too. I love how you put that. It is a comfort and a joy that I am in such beautiful company on this amazing, waking up ride.
P.S: You have such an incredible way with words–I can feel them reaching way deep inside of me, stirring up all the stuck and making way for the light. So precious.
You made my day, Julia. Just made my day. Let’s be friends! :)