It's almost 8:00 in the morning and I'm sitting at Common Grounds. I don't have to be at work until 11:00, but I woke up early today anyway because this is the day Roy Carney will be born. As a matter of fact, Lindsay is probably entering the induction chamber, or taking the inducing pill, or whatever it is they do to make you go into labor when your doctor is about to go on vacation and wants to get it over with.
It's overcast outside and frankly, it feels nice. The cool air is hanging around, giving it's own special invitation to feel, to live, before the heat arrives. I drove to Beatnix in total darkness, past the opening shops and school zones of 18th street. They were having connection problems, both with their credit card machine and the life giving force that is wi-fi, so I jetted on over to MLK on a journey to the other side of the MCC/Baylor divide of this town.
By the time I arrived the dark had retreated and what passes for light on a fully cloudy day had made it's presence known. Entering the back door I looked to the left to see Kyle's seat, his picture beaming the billion dollar smile from the back wall.
Days seem to pass faster than the speed of light.
Friends are meeting each other in this place, reunited after days apart because of Spring Break. Sitting on the couch, I look out and see them greeting each other, giving hugs, and smiling. Until this moment, I thought I was the only person who smiled in the morning. Apparently I don't have a corner on that market.
They are now seated across from me, having a Bible Study slash Prayer Meeting of some sorts. On any other day they would be met by my cynical eyes. But today, they can go ahead and fall headfirst into public evangelicalism. They are together, they love each other and miss the company of their friends. Hey, whatever props we need to bring us in proximity to the people we love, let's embrace them.
They just prayed, and it was loud. They asked God to sustain them throughout the day. They invoked his protection and pleaded with him to move in ways he's never moved before.
The Goo Goo dolls are playing through my headphones and Johnny Rzeznik is asking me if I lost my self somewhere out there, if I got to be a star. And if it makes me sad to know that life is more than who we are.
Why would that make me sad? Some days it's the only thing that makes me happy. This belief that there is more than being born, feeling the cold and the heat on our skin, then dying, this is what makes me smile. The Antioch girls across from me believe life is more than who we are, and they look like the happiest people in the world.
I'm about to go to the hospital before work. Perhaps Roy will be quick and I'll get a glimpse before I have to rush off. On my way out I'll look over to Kyle's seat, and whoever is sitting there will wonder why I'm making a point to turn around to look at them. Maybe I'll tell that person to smile, life is more than who we are. So go ahead, embrace it.
Here's a hearty happy birthday to Roy. And to all of us. Through the course of these hours may we all be born in ways unseen before now.