A hundred days

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Musicians Abigail and Shaun Bengson — known as ‘The Bengsons’ — made waves last year with their smashing hit, The Keep Going Song. I have listened to that song more times than I can count, and their raw, lyrical prayers have quite literally kept me going more than once during this past year.

The Bengsons have been making music for years however, and one their best, in my humble opinion, is the song Hundred Days. It’s the title track from their musical memoir performed on stages across the country a few years back, and it speaks to the terror Abigail and Shaun felt when they first met and quickly realized the fragility of human life and love. She’d once had a vision in which a doctor told her that the love of her life had only a hundred days to live, and the song is an anthem that speaks to facing that fear when she met Shaun.

This past year, I have been thinking a lot about this song, that concept. The idea of our own mortality seems to be staring us in the face more and more these days. 500,000+ deaths from COVID. The cancer coming back. Another miscarriage. A new diagnosis. It seems that for so many of us, 2020 and 2021 have shone a light on the fragility of the human experience. We are feeling the weight, I think, of knowing we are but dust and ash. And as death swirls all around us (whether literal or metaphorical), we cannot help but solemnly consider the endings all of us, at one point or another, will meet.

Which brings me to the question The Bengsons ask: What would you do? What would living look like if we knew we had only a hundred days? What would be different?

I’ve spent so very much time in my 37 years denying my desires in order to not ask for too much or ask for it too loudly. In many ways, I’ve been afraid to live with my whole heart. My whole body. My whole being.. Perhaps I’ve always known the very-real possibility of it being taken away at any given moment. But what am I do with my metaphorical hundred days? This one tragic, beautiful, raw, messy, honest life I’ve been given? Which means I’ve realized I want a hundred days of more.

More, not less. More abundance, not scarcity. More wide open spaces and toes in gurgling water. More sunshine on my shoulders and raindrops in my hair. More belly laughs. More ice cream for dinner. More picnics in parks. More wine on the porch with hubs after the kids go to bed. More stargazing. More telling the truth. More empathy. More bare feet and flowy dresses. More experiences. More kisses. More kindness. More sweat. More singing. More knock-knock jokes. More forgiveness. More dinner parties. More patience. More praise. More protests. More justice. More sunsets and more sunrises. More trees. More flowers. More honesty. More sights that take my breath away. More breath prayers. More music. More creating. More baking in the kitchen. More writing. More rest. More yoga. More chocolate. More memories. More moments. More hope. More singing. More compassion. More cozy blankets. More sea glass. More miracles. More magic. More presence. More grit and more growth. More staying in my lane and less worrying about anyone else. More healing. More wholeness. For the rest of my days, however many they may be, I want more.

I think that giving it a name and cultivating this dream is an act of resistance. It’s looking the pain of these days square in the face. It’s acknowledging it for what it is but not allowing it to have the final say. It’s remembering that we belong to the resurrection people but also, what we do and who we are in our right-here and right-now lives matter so much more than we can ever know. It’s knowing that grace is always coming to meet us. It’s choosing to see what a gift it is to know we get to begin again, always, over and over until the end.

I want a hundred days of more. What about you? What would your hundred days look like? I’d love to hear how you are tending to your hope in these strange times. Leave me a comment below, and it just might show up in a creation of mine down the road…

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