Good morning, lovelies. The Fourth of July weekend is upon us, and I can already smell the charcoal grills firing up. This year may look different than those past, but I hope you still have the opportunity to light some sparklers and make s’mores with those you love. As we commemorate our country’s independence this year, the holiday will no doubt elicit many different emotions and opinions. While it is important to keep in mind the work we still need to do, I invite you to also take some time to honor our victories. We undoubtedly have our fair share of problems, but we are still incredibly lucky to be a part of this great nation where we have the right to fight for what we believe in. Despite all the negativity, we’ve also had some big wins lately. Take a few minutes this morning to consider why you’re grateful to be a part of this country. Focus on the positive, and maybe you can add a few ways that you can personally help to make it even better.
This morning I celebrated my own freedom and finally got up to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic, something Matt does on his own pretty often. I knew I wouldn’t regret it if I just dragged myself out of bed, so at 4:45 I threw on a hoodie, grabbed a beach chair and shuffled down to the end of the street. I unfolded my chair and sat there in silent observation, recalling the teaching cues I use in class when I want my students to drop into the present moment. I felt my toes in the cool sand, listened to the sound of the rolling waves and smelled the salty, briny sea breeze. My mind was clear, and I found myself mesmerized by the seagulls, of all things. Seeing them in a different light, quite literally, transformed them from your typical beach day pests to graceful hunters, soaring over the ocean and diving for their breakfast.
In the pink glow of the early morning sun, I considered how often we forget that sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective. We often see things in black and white, as right or wrong. While I was watching the sun come up over the horizon, someone on the other side of the world was watching it disappear. We were both looking at the same sun, just from different places.
Something that works for me may not work for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. No two lives have been shaped in exactly the same way, and we all do the best we can using the information we have. The more we try to understand each other instead of criticize, the better our world will become. Just keep moving forward with love in your heart instead of judgement. You may learn to find beauty in places you never imagined.