“Late at night, I think about the love of this whole world…” Last night, I was taking a walk, now that the weather has cooled off some and we can be outside without being immediately attacked by mosquitoes. It was one of those rare walks that I took without headphones. It was more laziness than anything that kept me from going upstairs to get my iPod before I left the house. We’d spent a lot of the holiday weekend working out in the yard with the kids and I was sore all over. But the night was gorgeous, and even though we worked hard, I think we all had a lot of fun – we all felt good about what got done, the garden and the yard looked better than they had all summer. We’d spent some time with two of my sisters and their kids. We’d even carved a little time out for ourselves – playing lazer tag, bowling, go-karting, and eating a lot of pizza on Saturday afternoon.

Last week, my partner and I attended a funeral for a woman we’ve known for a long time. She died of cancer – only a year older than myself. She was not really part of our regular circle of friends, and so it was hard to know what to say, or if there was really anything to say. The tragedy of it was so obvious that it felt vulgar to try to even say so out loud. I was thinking about her on my walk and about her little girl who would do the rest of her growing up without her, and I was thinking about my own family, my own kids, my own brothers and sisters, and how wonderful it is that we have each other – to play “dogs versus humans” in the park, to burn hot dogs on the grill, to roast marshmallows and watch our son discover how cool a styrofoam plate looks when its melting over the hot coals of a campfire.

I’m not a religious person, but in the years since I first heard the Beach Boys’ 1970 Sunflower album, I’ve come to regard this little song – not quite two minutes long even – as a sort of profession of my own personal faith. “And when I go anywhere, I see love.” Enjoy.