... It's like that last sip of ice cold water before heading out to face a hot, humid afternoon. That last refreshing taste to quench your thirst until the sweating kicks in. Has a breath ever felt like that to you? They feel like that to me sometimes. They feel like that last needed bit of something sustaining; the sip you take to help put the smiling face on life. The face you show the world around you. The face that says that life is alright. I had this thought today, as I got out of the car to pick up some of "my kiddos" from school. This was no where even close to an I need a breath moment and really more so all about the sip of water that I took to fend off the heat. And yet, as the "ahh, that felt good going down" thought left my brain all I could think of was the way breathing has seemed to feel as I get older.
We have had a few days of cool, fall weather in Florida and it was a needed reprieve. Yet, it made the heat of yesterday a surprise I was not ready for. Like a breath you didn't realize you had taken; one that goes down a little too hard and comes up with a little bit too much life. The kind that comes when a hard day hits you after days that seemed to go so smoothly. It's that breath you take to remind yourself that the world is still watching, that you are still living and that sometimes you have to pick your head up and keep going.
As I processed all of this... all the breathing and the smiles that sometimes seem harder to wear than an itchy sweater, I realized, we are all doing it. At some point in every moment of each day, someone around you is the person who is smiling in spite of the fact that breathing hurts sometimes. They are smiling and holding up their own world, in their own way, because we are all doing it. We all have moments when we need that breath, that refreshing sip of ice water on a hot day, to remind ourselves to keep going. It's that breath that you hold in just long enough to pray, "Lord, I need you here."
So the next time I hear you breathe in- that really deep, down to your gut breathing, that seems to expel with it all that you are not saying- I promise to smile at you and simply nod my head, as if to reassure you that it will be ok. You are not alone and tomorrow the breathing may be easier.