When my wife confirmed that our suspicions were correct and that we were, in fact, expecting our second child, I knew that my first reaction was supposed to be one of joy.
The first thought to go through my mind, hearing that we were expecting again when our first daughter was only eighteen months old, was “I don’t know that I want to be that tired again.”
I’m kind of back to that place at the moment.
It will be short lived, I realize. This walk will end in another ten days or so. Parenting is the rest of your life.
But let me tell you, I am exhausted. Wiped out. Shot. The rest of the crew looks the same. Walking around the hotel in Terre Haute, Indiana, looks a bit like everyone got interrupted halfway through getting their makeup done to appear as zombie extras on The Walking Dead.
So, shattered as I am, this one is likely to be a bit shorter than the rest.
Every day has a theme – something to guide reflection as we walk. It’s not prescriptive. We can think about whatever we want to through the course of the day, conversations with any and every other pilgrim or simple meanderings through our own thoughts. But if nothing else comes to mind, we at least have this sort of daily devotion to ponder.
Today was gratitude.
There is an inclination on my part to take the topic and dive deep. It’s what I do. I’ve already written several paragraphs here which, with the stroke of my thumb and touch of a button, I’ve deleted. Deep isn’t where I want to go with this today.
Today, I actually want to keep right on the surface. I want to roll with the obvious. I want to remind you how good it is to count your blessings.
It can be hard. The good can be hard to find for some. For some the pain, or the darkness, can be all too present. The trials of work, or the struggle of the simple cost of living. The pain of loss. And the fear that it will not end.
Look for the good. It’s there. In the strangest of places.
Last evening, in the warm Indiana evening, I found myself by a fountain and was struck by that smell of the humidity, that scent in the air of the mist and burbling water mixed with the low golden sun. And I was glad to have noticed it.
We were awoken early this morning, rolling out before dawn and on the road as the sun rose to cast a light across soybean fields low in a blanked of fog. On any other day, I’d have stopped to take it in. We didn’t. We’re marching to a schedule. But still we saw it. It was noticed. And it was good. And I was glad.
Even the pain can be cause for gratitude. One of our numbers, Suzanna Carney, is one of those people with absolutely bulletproof joy. She’s got an eternal song in her heart which bubbles to the surface more often than not. We’re on day two of thirteen with only tens of miles behind us and hundreds of miles to go and she’s got a blister. “I’ve never got a blister from walking!” she says with a smile. “That’s a first!”
Joy is infectious. Gratitude is sharable.
For me, it’s a joy to be on this walk, but I am grateful for the opportunity to listen and learn. Every story I hear from the people I walk with reminds me how much our differences show us to be all the same.
Good night. Sweet dreams. God bless.