An Expert Interview on the Meaning of Life

Northern Lights, Greenland

Full disclosure. There’s no expert. There’s only a crystal clear moment during a pre-K music class I want to share with you. Because sometime during the forty minutes I sat on a plastic chair in a semi circle, flanked by my husband and other parents, the meaning of life was revealed to me. There I was, smiling at the precociousness of our eldest and his classmates in their very sweet seated circle, even as my mind whirred on to the packed day ahead of reading to children at multiple schools.

I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep. Or perhaps my hormones are on the fritz. But I do know that when our five year old sat on the mat alongside his classmates and sang “You are my Sunshine,” a tunnel opened up before me.

It was like the beam of light that some people describe during near death experiences. The tractor beam that is calling you to something beyond. Think of that 90s classic, the film Ghost. This wasn’t a physical beam of light, it was more like a tug at the seat of my heart and mind.

Emotionally, I could sense the end of my life, 60 or so years down the road. This a tiny voice whispered inside me. Pay attention. This is what it is all about. Love. I held my breath as the children sang verses of the familiar song I had never heard before. It’s all so simple.

“Why did that affect you so much?” My husband asked later.

I didn’t have a solid answer. I spend a lot of time around very sweet, hilarious children – ours and those of our friends. Yet there was something about that morning, that moment, that drilled into my very core.

When we are tired, our defenses are down. No accident that this is when these types of messages can get in. I was fanning myself, avoiding eye contact with the other moms and of course, stoic dads to my left, as tears welled.

Letting someone else know that they are loved. That, on a Sunday morning during elementary school music class, is what my heart said was the meaning of life.

Have you had a similar experience? What messages have you taken away?


How Celebrating Spring Makes Us Better People

Yesterday was Easter.

Spring Series by Nick Kenrick
Spring Series by Nick Kenrick

A celebration of the newness of life, represented in Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The early church timed the liturgical calendar so that Easter’s death, burial and resurrection would resonate with the pagan ritual of spring, when the earth shakes off it’s winter slumber. New life comes forth in hopping bunnies and bright flower buds.


We could take our cue from this tradition of regeneration. Use Spring as an excuse to time out from whatever has you spinning your wheels and remember how exciting it is to be alive. This week a schedule change at school has given me more time at the desk. I know, this sounds counter-intuitive. Having more time to work, instead of squeezing writing into the small cracks between the business of life, opened up the  fun in creativity again.

Gretchen Rubin has a great suggestion for how to find a healthy recharge.

How would you like to take advantage of the sprightliness of spring?