Kurt Vonnegut gave graduates the following advice during commencement speeches:
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
As several of my friends have graduated this weekend, it only felt appropriate to pass that advice along. When a moment is so whole that you are taken by surprise, notice. Catalog every piece of it – the sounds, the smells, the very air that is holding it all together.
In this digital age, I like to share some of these moments on social media – not to brag, but instead to provide balance. I tell sad stories, but that’s not the entirety of my life. There are also wonderfully whole days and people and laughter.
Yesterday was one of those days.
It was my first time at the drive-in. I set my anxiety aside as the Mormons welcomed me with open arms (and, as we layered eight grown adults in the car, closed legs). After ten minutes, we were all wrapped up in each other. A woman I had just met squeezed my hands in the tense moments, we laid across our friends, and we ate sour gummy worms until our tongues tingled. A former bishop invited us to his home after the credits rolled and soon we surrounded his fire pit. The stones glittered under the fire’s glow. We skewered marshmallows and set them aflame, tiny sweet torches burning against the cold black sky. I counted the stars above us before it started to drizzle.
I am so thankful for my friends and the amazing places we end up together. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Congratulations to the graduates – may you notice every beautiful moment.