Last Friday I was skiing with my friend Sandy. I had just turned 50 a few weeks before and wasn’t sure what to think about it. Sandy said to me, “Sara, do you realize that you’ve entered the decade of faith and fight and fun?”
As we rode up the lift together, Sandy encouraged me to live the next 10 years under that motto. After all, it had worked for her. And beyond. Even in her 70’s Sandy is one of the most energetic, optimistic people I know.
We talked about making snow angels (which she still does) and about wanting to fly–wondering if in heaven we will be able to do that without wings. We talked about how skiing is almost like flying. And we talked about music and hope and why people have forgotten they were born happy.
I teach writing to college students, and the first question I ask them is this: “When you were little, what kind of person were you?” Always they share of how happy and carefree they were.
But when does that happiness get covered over? How long does it take for the hard things of the world to beat our joy down into the bottom of our memories?
So I ask them to write those hard things, and I write along with them, and in the process we find little pieces of joy–like fragments of stained glass–rising up through our writing, coloring and lighting our lives again.
“Sara,” Sandy reminded me, “this is the decade of joy for you. Have faith. Fight with passion for what you want.”
“But mostly–just have fun.”