I have been asked before how it is that I can find such enjoyment in life while living in a country that constantly visually reminds me of the reality of human plight. Although I live in a pleasant neighborhood, I can still exit my door and walk for about five minutes and see any number of sad situations. But I believe that finding happiness is something we should all always strive towards.
It reminds me of a day this past summer when I decided to try my hand at a recipe for strawberry lemonade cupcakes. I did not have a cupcake sheet, however, so I turned it into strawberry lemonade cake. I don’t remember what the exact crises was that day, but I remember feeling a flash of guilt for waking up with strawberry lemonade cake on my mind, while so many others were facing a tragedy. How could I enjoy such frivolity when others fought for their life. And, of course, it wasn’t the first time. There’s always someone somewhere suffering while I share a smile with family and friends.
We have to enjoy life. And if joy is not so obvious, we must seek it out. We have to live within our current sixty seconds, and only until those sixty seconds are gone can we move on to the next. My friend Allie told me she was learning to do just that with her work with UNESCO Iraq, because, as she put it in such factual light, she could be blown up at any point during her work. In my book of lists to live by for simple living there is a passage that reads:
JUST FOR TODAY: I will be unafraid. Especially, I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.
Those who face tragedy are remembering to be unafraid. They too are striving to find their dandelions in winter, and holding on to those things around them that still stand for love and for beauty and for happiness.
4 thoughts on “The Question of Strawberry Lemonade Cake”
Absolutely beautiful post, so full of optimism. I am sure you have seen this quote by Arundhati Roy before, but your post reminded me of it because it embodies the ‘to seek joy in the hardest places’ bit:
To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.
I have seen that quote before, but I could never grow tired of reading it. All the words are so true, right down to the very last word.
“JUST FOR TODAY: I will be unafraid. Especially, I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.”
ugh, i love that. love you and your beautiful soul.
Em, you have a beautiful soul, my dear and so happy we can share in one another’s lives.