Each morning, this summer, as I drive into school -- somewhere around 8:30, when the sun is at its most golden -- I see true beauty.
All business, in shorts and T-shirts, there goes a father, mother and son. All three of them are overweight, the son's round physique a perfect miniature of the father's, his hair just as sunrise red. The mother's hair sits high in an all-business bun.
They're there for a reason, make no mistake. They are out there to get in shape. They walk briskly and with purpose, each the others' most important person in some way. Each encouraging the other to keep going; to get healthy; to work off the weight. The son seems determined, even if he would prefer to be playing Minecraft, and he inevitably trails a bit behind with a stick (sword? light saber? bow?) in hand. The mother holds the father's hand -- or, rather, she holds gracefully, coquettishly, onto his outside two fingers. The mother walks a nearly imperceptible four inches ahead of her husband; they are side-by-side as a husband and wife should be, but she is leading -- she is the one who wakes her favorite lads up each morning and says, "Come on -- get your sneaks on."
Every day, without fail, they breathe in the leaf-dappled summer scents and take advantage of the slow-motion summer clock and incrementally work at changing their lives, step after step. It chokes me up every time.
There's no saccharine, greeting-card, joyful, everyone-in-white-on-the-beach false moment-capturing, here . There's sweat and inconvenience and sacrifice in their walk and in their posture. There's some inner-thought distance. But there's committment and total comfort of company. There's an "us-against the-world-ness." There's teamwork that no artificial team could ever approach. And, of course, there's love.
Is there anything, on Earth, more beautiful than a family?