Not long ago, I was crushed by the loss of a friend to suicide. For those who knew her well, this was never something they could have imagined her doing. She had the kind of eyes that exploded with celebration and zest for life, and the kind of laughter that asked to fill a stadium. But, sadly, in the final years leading up to her life’s expiration, she allowed addiction and depression to invite the darkness in, and the horrors of heartbreak and dependance upon drugs distracted her from the infinite blessings that were vying for her attention. She had a loving family, friends who missed her, a wit that was undeniable, and a presence that was unforgettable. Most would say she had it all. So, why didn’t she see it?
In our lives, anytime we are met with the finality of death, all of the grudges, ego-centric disagreements, and superficial agendas become void of meaning and ask to fall away—in an instant.
So, one day, while aching for just one more conversation, one more summer night drive, one more moment of laughing ourselves to death on the side of the road, I was inspired to create the following list.
I hope you’ll feel amused by it and inspired by it. Above all, remember: Love is not exclusively for lovers. It’s for everyone, all of the time.
1 The smell of freshly-cut grass.
2 Your fluffiest blanket, fresh from the dryer.
3 Your first stretch, crack and pop upon waking in the morning.
4 The sound of the ocean waves crashing against the rocks.
5 The sweaty, triumphant state of crossing the finish line of your toughest race.
6 When you’re sneaking a peek at someone who is also sneaking a peek at you.
7 Being awoken by a life-altering epiphany.
8 Being greeted by your dog as though you’re more important than the Pope.
9 A bubble bath with a seemingly infinite supply of hot water…
10 The smell of freshly brewed coffee.
11 Discovering sand in your shoes two weeks after returning home from a beach vacation.
12 An ice-cold bottle of water on a scorching hot day.
13 The taste of ripe watermelon greeting a thirsty tongue in the heart of summer.
14 Your first “yes” after a hundred times of hearing “no”…
15 When your entire bathroom is filled with the fragrance of your favorite shampoo.
16 Laughing until your cheeks ache.
17 The smell of clean laundry.
18 A sunset so captivating, marveling at it takes precedence over capturing it.
19 A sunflower larger than your head.
20 A sincere compliment.
21 The gaze of childlike wonder.
22 A high-five from someone you have long admired.
23 Watching the sun rise.
24 A random, unexpected influx of inspiration.
25 Conversations so enthralling, you forget to check your phone.
26 Your favorite pillow.
27 The beauty of the sun glistening through the trees.
28 The smell of rain.
29 A heartfelt apology.
30 A hug with just the right amount of squeeze.
31 A picturesque view at the top of a grueling hike.
32 Stumbling upon forgotten photographs which depict one of your happiest memories.
33 When your team wins.
34 Pulling into your driveway after having been away from home for far too long.
35 Fingers stroking your hair.
36 The first spark of hope after a season of doubt.
37 The perfect balance of salty and sweet.
38 The sound of the ice cream truck in your neighborhood.
39 An unexpected love note.
40 When your mom permits you to lick the cake batter from the bowl.
41 When the beat drops.
42 Crawling into a bed with crisp, clean sheets.
43 The sweet release of a full-body sneeze.
44 When someone falls and no one is hurt, but everyone laughs.
45 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
46 The vibrato of a cello.
47 The whine of a steel guitar.
48 A passionate “Congratulations!” just when you fear no one cared.
49 A beat so infectious, your body can’t help but move to it.
50 The first drop of rain marking the end of a drought.
51 The sweet freedom of letting go after long imagining you never, ever could.