[image] the view outside my one-time home, a world blanketed in cold beauty
It was an early December Sunday a couple winters ago. I was coming off a marathon week of classes, papers, work, and a conference and had one more 10 page paper to knock out that night, so I stayed home from church. I had my books about theology and our bodies piled on my desk, post-it notes tabs sticking out at all angles. I knew the forecast said snow, so I pulled open the blinds and let light stream in as my fingers clickety-clacked over the keys and I tried to keep my passion for the subject in the boundaries of the assigned paper. Only stopping for brief pauses to sip coffee. Then a few pages in, I glanced out the window and saw the snow falling, a light dusting already on the ground.
I kept typing with renewed enthusiasm to finish so that I could enjoy my favorite part of winter. Philadelphia never had a good snowfall last year and I missed it.
A couple hours later one of my roommates made it back to the apartment with a couple of our Sunday night dinner guests in tow and we decided the thick blanket of white called for a snowball fight. We bundled up and headed out – pelting each other and the windows of neighbor friends who decided not to come outside. We fell backwards and made snow angels before heading back inside and drying off. Then, I was back to the paper.
I typed away until it was time for Sunday dinner. It was our Christmas party week. We served up plates full of food from everyone’s offerings, then opened gifts while laughing and taking turns wearing a Santa hat.
And then once again I was back to my computer, to run one more edit and submit the paper, proud of the work I had done. Confident that the work I was doing on this topic was important and part of the reason I am on this earth.
A few years ago someone asked me, “What’s your passion?” and I had no idea how to answer them. It wasn’t that I didn’t have things that interested me, I just didn’t know what my passion was – I didn’t know what it was that motivated me or lead me to do the things I did. So I started looking at my life and trying to figure out that answer.
I looked back on my adult life to that point and the things I had pursued, things that were common denominators no matter where my life was. It was things like, “I like cooking for people.” “I enjoy thinking deeply.” “I like to have people over to my home.” “All else being equal, aesthetics are important.” “I want people to feel comfortable, welcomed, and thought-of.”
And I started pursuing those things a little more. And that Sunday in December is kind of my answer to “What are you passionate about?” I’m passionate about friends and taking the time to enjoy the beauty of life. I am passionate about thinking about things that matter and engaging with them on deep levels – *specifically about talking about our bodies and our faith and how those things intersect for better or for worse. I’m passionate about communities and sharing meals and developing friendships and having people who show up at your house for snowball fights and warm soup.
What about you? Have you had a day that let you unexpectedly live your passions? What was it like?
(this post originally appeared on my previous blog)