It’s a Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting on a squishy red couch upstairs in the student center of my daughter’s college. The sun is slowly setting outside – I can see it through the windows. My daughter is sitting at the other end of the couch working on an essay. My husband and son are across the room, playing pool. I am happy.

The moment is so simple, yet so blessed. Hours earlier I sat on this couch alone – my daughter spent a few hours alone, studying in her dorm, and my husband and son were playing baseball outside. It’s so much nicer having them in my sights.

I hear my daughter typing and watch her slow progress on the essay. I’m working on my blog; my typing seems to flow easier. I hear the voices of my husband and son floating across the room. A crack of the pool balls colliding and their laughter breaks through the other noises. At times I can look for bigger expressions of joy and satisfaction, but there really is not much more I need than this.

My heart wants to hold this moment forever. I want to freeze it and keep it – especially because after dinner we’ll hug my daughter goodbye for a few more weeks, and leave her here at college while we start our trip home. I want to hold this point in time, and my family, close and tight, to keep us together. While we’ve spent much of the last two days as our familiar family unit, moments like this are even more precious now with my daughter at school over a thousand miles away. I want to stay right here with the people I love most around me.

And, at the same time, I know that I can’t freeze this and keep this. It won’t work and it won’t feel right. I know that while I can remember this moment and the love coursing through me, I can’t keep it here forever. I’ve recently been taught to be like a vessel, letting all – good and bad, joyful and painful – flow through me. To notice it, remember it, and let it pass on.

It is these simple moments that make up a life of joy. It is the love flowing through me – so strong sometimes that it physically hurts, so soft sometimes that it’s a gentle caress – that makes up a life of connection. It is love that makes the world go around, and simple blessings, such as my family all in one room and especially my daughter nearby, that make life blessed. That make my life blessed. I need no more than this. I can capture this instant in my mind so that I can replay it later. I can smile and enjoy it and know there will be more – different and varied.

It is the simple things in life that make life so special. We often look for more – bigger, better, bolder – but it is the simple things that matter. My family around me. The sunset out the window. Connections with others. The beauty of the moment. These are what I choose to make up my life.

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