I guess what I'm trying to say is: right now, the entire universe is only a few seconds away from bursting into applause.

I love the sun. Any time of day, but especially morning. I also like paper plates—the flimsy kind that aren’t stiff enough to hold a spoonful of potato salad. And barbecues. I like conversations at barbecues. Folks hardly ever talk about work, or bills. But about kids, sports, and how crazy Uncle John is.

He’s nuts.

I’m crazy about pencils, rickety screen doors, old folks, quiet folks, loud folks, zinnias, and mobile homes. I like the sound of wind blowing through the woods—like the earth exhaling.

And coffee.

I once spent an entire summer in Georgia with relatives who drank decaf. Worst summer of my life. I didn’t have the personality God gave a houseplant.

And, I like yellow. As a boy, I preferred blue. But someone told me blue was depressing. So, I tried to like yellow. After several years, I can’t get enough of it.

I like George Jones, Steel Magnolias, Delta Burke, and stories told by people with white hair. Girls who wear hunting boots. And boys who say, “Yes ma’am,” to girls their own age.

I like tiny churches.

I once knew a pastor of a microscopic Baptist congregation—a factory-worker by day. He wouldn’t accept a church paycheck. I remember one of his Wednesday services. After churchgoers passed the plate, his wife counted the money in the rear pew. mostly fives and tens. Then, she handed all the cash to a young mother with three children.

I like standing ovations. Like the time an auditorium applauded a seventy-six-year-old school janitor about to retire. His name was Brill. You should’ve seen old Brill’s face. He never knew it was coming.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: right now, the entire universe is only a few seconds away from bursting into applause. It’s going to be an explosion so brilliant it buckles your knees. And you’ll have to squint to keep from going blind.

And such intense events make you think. About hope. About how lucky we are to have things like dogs, magnolia trees, paper plates, and summer. And it humbles you.

And then you’ll realize: life is really something. God—who already knows this—busts the universe wide open just to prove this to you. He does it once every day.

If you don’t believe the goodness I’m telling you about is true, do yourself a favor:

Wake up early.

And watch the sunrise.


  1. Susan Irene Fox - May 11, 2016 4:08 pm

    “right now, the entire universe is only a few seconds away from bursting into applause.” When we’re quiet enough to watch and listen, we’ll often hear the clicking of a hummingbird just in time to see the glorious shimmer of his feathers as he dips his needle-like beak for a sweet taste of nectar. God’s days are like that.

  2. ms jere - June 23, 2016 1:39 pm

    Young man, you make my heart smile wide open almost every time I read what you write…please keep on writing.

  3. Cathy Everitt - June 24, 2016 9:10 am

    Thank you. Sunrises thrill my heart and your writing did, too. My color is green, and at the moment I’m in 40 shades of it here in Ireland. Mostly, I live just South of you, in Lower Alabama, sometimes known as the Panhandle Of Florida. Keep writing, Sean.


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