In the last few weeks my emotions come to the surface without little hesitation. While running on the treadmill yesterday, tears started forming in the corner of my eyes. It surprised me. The belt still moved under my feet as I established a rhythm with my feet and my arms. My headphones sang, “I’ll believe in grace and choice.” It is one of my favorite lines from Mumford & Son’s song, Babel.

My personal dam could not contain what was inside of me. Running with purpose, my face mixed with sweat and tears. It did not last long and I quickly grabbed my towel to erase evidence of my vulnerability. Climbing uphill, I contemplated the cracks inside of me. It brought me to tears. There are days I am overwhelmed by how many moments go unfulfilled. The plans that go awry. The unexpected jolt of betrayal from a loved one. Caustic words from a stranger. News of yet another person way to young facing a terminal illness. Breaking and broken. It is everywhere.

I stop running, but the treadmill keeps moving. The sun is shining through the window. Golden rods shine on my face. I look up. I take a breath. And my own pendulum swings in the other direction. I notice two friends climbing the stairmaster side by side, laughing about last night’s party. Next to my treadmill, a young pregnant woman walks by and rubs her belly, a look of contentment on her face. Twin brothers are helping each other by making certain the heavy weight does not land on their feet. Ladies are shaking their hips to zumba in the studio.

I finish running. My cellphone rings. My mom calls. I let it go to voicemail. Walking down to the childcare center, I pick up my daughter. She immediately springs to me as a smile appears on her face. She holds my hand. We walk out to the car together. The air of the desert is pure. Smelling its clarity, I watch as a mom kneels down to kiss her little girl on the cheek. A man is singing and dancing in his car while he whizzes through the parking lot. Just as I enter my car, a good friend texts about plans for the next day.

I take another breath. I need to be gentle with myself. The world and this life is broken and beautiful. And it unfolds everyday.