Travel brings new glances into beauty and fresh perspectives of pain. We live in a world covered with both: we rejoice then weep; we embrace pleasure then work to endure hard times; we smile then shake our heads while watching the news.

I cherish the healthy conversations with friends, the smiles, the delicious meals when tastes lure us toward too much food, the prayers prayed together before and after those meals.

I hate the hate. Between people and nations and opinions. I despise the denial and deception and anger.

I love the love, the forgiveness of wrongs, the first conversations with new friends I meet on a plane, and the long dialogues with those I’ve known for many decades.

I weep watching a young man placed in a health care center long term because of his serious condition. I hurt while hearing the latest news of attacks on people from people. I pray Psalms of Lament — even though not knowing when those will transition into songs of praise. I wait. And wait.

I rejoice seeing the sunlight, riding waves of ocean water, laughing at new jokes and old jokes, holding a grandson who lives far away but is with me in this moment.

I ask, What awaits him? More division and conflict? More hate? Or more healing and love and forgiveness and righteousness?

On this day, let’s make a positive difference. Notice the beauty while not living in denial of the pain. Embrace each conversation. Listen and learn. Disagree and still love. And work hard to make this world a better place for those little babies enjoying the ocean’s beauty this morning.