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This week we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Goodness, Grace and Grub!

I’ve given a lot of thought to what this blog has meant to me, and it’s been challenging to think of it in a way that’s not cliche or trite.

But, here’s the deal.  The truth is, I started this blog for me.  I wish I could say I had lofty goals of changing the world by seeking only the good, but that wasn’t the case.  At the time, I found it—and sometimes still do—ridiculously easy to be sad or angry or unhappy with life.  I was fed up with the constant chatter in my head and the rage against people who were unkind or indifferent or just plain mean.

So I asked myself, what if I flipped the switch?  What if I paid attention to what was right and good and beautiful, instead of all the other stuff? What if I decided to be uplifted by the world, rather than brokenhearted by it?

And what I have found is grace.

I have found light.  I have discovered each of us is the light, and in those times when ours is shining dimly, we can rely on other people to help illuminate our path using their own beams.  We can be the beacon for one another, in a world where it sometimes feels like there isn’t enough to go around.  Our collective light is plentiful.

In this idea, I have become a light chaser.  I seek it in sunsets, in moonrises, in the love in someone’s eyes.  I know now that light is everywhere—it encircles us, encouraging us to show up as the people we know we can be.  All of us form a circle of light, and through support and comfort and by bringing our talents into the world, we uplift each other.  The light helps us become our best selves.

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And so I say thank you.  To every restauranteur who has made me feel welcome in their establishment and every chef who have cooked me a beautiful meal, to every author whose words have inspired me to live a better life, to every friend who has sent me or Instagrammed pictures of their “signs of love,” to every person who has left a comment on this blog or sent a note to say something I wrote showed up in your life at the exact moment you needed to see it, to all of you, I say a very deep-hearted thank you.  In the times when I needed it most, you have lit my path to help me find my way in this world.

May light grace your days and brighten your nights this week and beyond.  Here’s to many more years of celebrating the beauty of life.

xo, with goodness and grace.

My 10-year-old nephew visited this week, always a joyful treat.  One day we hung out at Chelsea Piers, and after playing some sports, we walked along the Hudson River.  I, as I’m prone to do, started taking photographs.  He reached out to my phone and said, “Can I take a picture?”

Pointing straight at the sun, he hit the shutter.  One snap and he was done.

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I love that somehow we all instinctively gravitate towards the light, even at an early age.  I love to be among light chasers.

There is a crack in the window pane.

I hadn’t noticed it before, but it caught my eye right before I went to bed.  Maybe it’s just a superficial crack – my casement windows are old and drafty, and I most likely would have felt a new stream of wind in the room.

But the bright luminosity of the light streaming through the crack is what really caught my attention. It shone like a light beam.

This, of course, was the end to Easter Sunday, so my mind was full of magic and miracles. I’d taken off the surrounding work days to enjoy the changing weather and to pre-empt the early spring mental fatigue that plagues me every year, noticeable only when I realize much too late that I haven’t had a day off in months.

Unfortunately, the better part of my vacation was spent in bed with an epically bad head cold.

Disappointment followed: the cancellation of the dinner party I’d planned for two of my friends, the spinning classes I would return to after a long absence, the restaurants I would try. I was bummed.

I suppose here is where I could tell a story with dramatic flourishes to weave the tale of how I got out of my sick bed and was transformed by something otherworldly, altering the course of my spring, magically lighting my way and resurrecting the dreams I had for my vacation days.

The reality is something much simpler happened: I started to feel better, so I got out of my sick bed and spent a holiday with my parents.

Family has always been the light in a dark day for me.  The truth is that the ordinary moments—cooking dinner with my mom, watching a basketball game with my dad, laughing with them both—are what light the path of my life.  The simple moments of connection give meaning to the myths of rebirth and second chances and starting anew.  I may have eaten my weight in jelly beans in my sick bed, but I also sent the Easter bunny and all of his Peeps on their way as I found meaning in the laughter and relaxation and sense of belonging that being home brings for me.

So at the end of the day, my mood brightened, the light from the crack in my window reflected the stars and fairy dust and all beautiful things in the world that I was feeling.

I was reminded of that Leonard Cohen quote, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

What a beautiful thing to ruminate on as I fell asleep, off to dream with angels and fairies and spirit guides who show me the cracks so I can see the light.

My intention was to write about the light.

This morning I was reminded that the universe’s best gifts are often offered up when the rest of the world is still sleepily tucked in. Up earlier than I normally like to be, my plan was to go to the office while it was peaceful and I could be productively alone. I walked around my apartment with a thousand thoughts in my head and was distractedly trying to figure out what to wear .

Then I looked out the window.

I don’t know why the sight of it always surprises me. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s been gloomy and rainy for more days that I can remember, or because I’ve gotten in the habit of hitting snooze five times so I get out of bed when the sun is already up.

But it still surprises me, the beauty of it. I looked up and caught my breath, mesmerized by the magic of the rising light. The sun was rising and its light bathed the trees in front of my window in heavenly rays of lavender and peach and amber and gold.

It’s a sight that I always want to hold on to. But then – like mostly anything you try to cling to – it’s gone, as quickly as it came.

The trick, I’ve learned, is understanding that though you cannot hold onto the light with your eyes, you can hold it in your soul. You can invite the feeling it gives you to stay for a while longer, to unhook you from the madness that life can bring, to turn your head to pay attention to beauty.

I wanted to write about the light. But I see that the light is much more than an ethereal glow on a branch. The light is what’s inside, what flips the switch in you and implores you to take notice of what’s right in front of you.

It’s what brings the magic to an ordinary day and makes the next morning something to look forward to.

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