This is your life.
It is good and precious and absolutely your own.
It is fragile and difficult. On some days, you will lose hope.
But my prayer is that you experience a joy so big, you never run out
Of moments when your mouth is sore from all the smiling
And your stomach hurts from all the laughing;
Of moments when you pause to think
Yes, I am safe
Yes, I am loved
Yes, the world is not terrible or cruel or out to get me.
I pray that you dance
And dress up in laugh lines
And love hard.
I try my best to do the same.
I am not always successful.
I try to mine the darkness for light
And I usually find it
In coffee with a friend
Or a beautiful sunrise
In poetry, even, if you can believe it.
I am a sucker for hope,
The silver lining,
Of being right here
Which, I think, takes courage.
So when my students ask me what to do
With this hard life, I say: