We live in a world with a lot of ugly. I wake up in the morning and read news headlines of terrorism and scandals and war and school shootings. I see people hatefully gesture to one another in rush hour traffic while broken beer bottles and McDonalds hamburger wrappers litter the sidewalks. There are terrible cases of domestic violence and infidelity and murder and rape that should be rare, unheard of stories, but have all become common things.
It makes me angry. I want wrongs to be righted and cures for cancer and people to be kind to one another. I want this to be a wonderful world the way Louis Armstrong sings about it- full of red roses, blue skies and people saying "I love you."
But it is. Even in all of this ugly, there is wonderful, and we can't lose sight of that.
Shauna Niequest put it this way “Let’s act, read, protest, protect, picket, learn, advocate for, fight against-but let’s be careful that in the midst of all that accomplishing and organizing, we don’t bulldoze over a world that’s teeming with beauty and hope and redemption all around us and in the meantime."
Sometimes life isn’t a nightmare. Sometimes it is magical- so much that you can’t wipe that stupid smile off your face.
Rome was this for me. Rome wasn’t about global warming or the Swine flu. Rome was about prosecco and moonlight and copious amounts of carbohydrates.
It was slurping up handmade noodles dripping with thick, buttery Alfredo and monuments that have withstood battles and re-elects and conquests and rebellions and the ends of dynasties. It was racing to enjoy rich, creamy gelato that was melting from the heat in the crowded streets. It was stumbling upon a spread of brilliant floral arrangements in Campo de Fiori and symphony orchestras spontaneously playing in Piazza Navona.
Rome was accordion serenades and wishfully tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain. It transformed me from the monotony of day to day to somewhere fantastical, where every nook and cranny and sip and bite and sound was delectable. It was where I wanted to stand and marvel at everything: at the wine gluggling as it’s poured, at the sun setting over the Colosseum, at the motorcycles whipping and buzzing through traffic.
Rome was magic. It was real, actual life happening before me that seemed so perfect I could have been in a movie. It was a breath of fresh air that seemed worlds away from the bad. It was a reminder that even in the darkness that can seemingly entangle us, there is abounding beauty and wonder to be found in the world.
My guess is that you can’t hop on a plane and experience Rome today, but I’d bet that if you’re willing to look for it, you can find the same kind of magic. Maybe it’s the budding green on the trees, the color of the sunset or the chocolate cake you eat for dessert; whatever it is for you, it’s there somewhere.
So let’s be observant. Let’s absolutely acknowledge and act upon the things that disturb us, but let’s also look for the magic. Let’s notice it, enjoy it, and let it light up the darkness.
Also, thank you so much to everyone who entered to win our curated Easter Basket! Congratulations to our winner, Shelby Javernick! We have a lot more giveaways planned, so be sure to keep an eye out.