Monday, December 21, 2009

Hide it under a bush? NO!

So I'm driving eastbound on 3300 S headed towards my house (a phrase that I never thought would escape my lips) and I'm keeping a lookout for a cemetary on the right hand side of the street. Since I'm still not very used to driving in my new area, I use the cemetary on the right as a landmark to tell me when the street I need to turn down is coming up. It was dark and so I wondered if I'd be able to see it.

And then I saw it.

In the distance there were thousands of dim lights glowing across the huge expanse of the lawn. As I drove closer I realized that the lights were luminaries; one for each grave and then others to line the paths around the cemetary.

I had been in the left lane anticipating the turn into my neighborhood, but instead I made a quick (and somewhat dangerous... sorry blue car) lane change to made an immediate right into the cemetary grounds.

I then spent the next twenty minutes following a parade of cars who had almost all (and I curse the ones that didn't) turned their headlights off and were driving around to see the lights. I turned my radio off (I don't know why, but it seemed appropriate) and just looked around.

Several thoughts went through my head as I drove around. First of all, I don't think I'll ever really comprehend how MANY people there are in this world. Just in that teeny tiny bit of earth, there were thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of lights each commemorating someone's life. Just in one cemetary, in one city, in one state, in one nation. I'm a visual learner, so it struck me to see so many lights.

And then naturally, being in the volunteer business, I thought, How in the world did they get all of these lit?! It must have taken them HOURS to make this happen! Because every single one was an actual burning candle. To place AND light each of those must have been a huge undertaking... one that I want to volunteer to help do next year.

The last thought I had was about how much influence one person's life can have. To their neighbors, to their family and friends, to strangers, to the world. I was touched that every single grave had a light. Not one of them was too out of the way or too small or too inconveniently placed to NOT have a luminary near it. Each life was worth remembering. It reminded me that each life IS worth remembering... living or dead, complicated or simple, good or bad.

And then as I drove out of the cemetary and turned my radio on I thought, Man... for someone not known for sentimentality, I can sure get sappy sometimes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy 100th Post.

...and, in celebration, I have a gift for you.

At my place of employment there's a program where we distribute a box of food once a month to over two thousand low-income seniors around the Salt Lake valley. These boxes are plain brown and fairly boring, which is why we allow volunteers to take these boxes home, decorate them, and return them to us so we can eventually fill them with food. The common themes of decorations on the box usually follow the season of the year or consist of generally cheerful things: smiles, rainbows, butterflies, sunshine.

But every now and then, we get a box that breaks the mold:

Is this not the coolest thing you've ever seen?! I was having a pretty rough morning at work when I found this little number, and boy howdy did it turn my day around.

Here's some other pictures of things I kept meaning to post, but my internet connection made rather impossible to do so:
I went to Zion and Bryce National Parks over the Labor Day weekend. I was once again convinced that we live in the most beautiful state in the nation.

I went with my pal Robin to the fair shortly thereafter. We successfully found the booth of all things deep-fried. I enjoyed a brownie, while Robin tried her hand at the oreos. Next year I'm going to try the cheesecake.

On Thanksgiving morning I ran the Utah Human Race 5K. It was all kinds of cold outside and I didn't beat my time, but I really enjoyed seeing the thousands of people there together for a good cause. I'll continue to run it each year as long as I'm able.

And, I've recently fallen in love with this little guy:

It's my new roommate's nephew. He comes to visit sometimes and when he does I'm glad.

Work is slowing down and stress is slowly ebbing from my mind, so I hope to post more often in the future. Thanks for hangin' in there with me.