Looking Up at the Sky

When you go into your kids’ rooms tonight to kiss them goodnight, smell the top of the heads.

And in that quiet moment, remember the day they were born.  Remember how you felt, how your spouse felt.  How your baby must have felt in both your arms.

And tomorrow, when your partner in life least expects it, kiss them on the lips like you haven’t kissed them in a long time – and hope they kiss you back.

And call up your best buddies and take them out for dinner.  Make toasts all night.  Everyone’s toast should be about how great everyone else is.  And if anybody left out any aspect about how spectacular you are, make an extra toast to yourself.

And tonight, after everyone’s asleep, go out to your backyard.

Just stand there.  Look around.  Look up in the sky.

And think about how it’s not your backyard.  How you’re just standing on this planet.  This planet busting with life.  Busting with energy.  How gravity is the only thing that’s keeping you from floating away.

How your brain cells on the top of your head are completing quadrillion actions per second.  How only two percent of the seven billion billion billion atoms that make up your body were in you a year ago.

And, in the quiet, listen to the music the wind plays.  And to the soothing clock and rhythm of the crickets.

And then look up.  To the wonder.  To every thing you’ll never know.

And may you imagine the stars are other roads you could have taken.  Other careers.  Other places you could have lived.  Other relationships.  Other kids you could have had.

And, with your feet on the ground, spread your arms in the air and feel it all.  The ground you’re so firmly on.  Your heart perfectly beating in your body.  Feel the light breeze hitting your face, your ears, your eyes, and your mouth.

And feel how extraordinary it is to be you.

To have what you have.  To dream of what you still have time to be.

And, then, close your eyes.

And, in that moment, may you feel a bit closer to knowing who you are, where you are — and where you’re going.

— Jimmy Dunne