|Waiting, Edgar Degas [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
“Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our life. It seems that there is no such thing as clear-cut pure joy but that, even in the most happy moments of our existence, we sense a twinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of its limitations. In every success, there is a fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is knowledge of surrounding darkness.
Joy and sadness are as close to each other as the splendid leaves of a New England fall to the soberness of the barren trees. When you touch the hand of a returning friend, you already know that he will have to leave you again. When you are moved by the quiet vastness of a sun-covered ocean, you miss the friend who cannot see the same. Joy and sadness are born at the same time, both arising from such deep places in your heart that you can’t find words to capture your complex emotions.”
-The Dance of Life, Henri Nouwen