I’m home alone. My big kids are both on shift at Staples for another hour. My husband and Angel are at the county fair making rounds. Mark is on standby with the ambulance. Angel is bouncing joyfully about with friends, or more calmly perusing with dad among concession booths in anticipation of the first of two nights of rodeo. Maybe they are choosing to have an ice cold frozen lemonade, a honey buttered scone, a steaming sweet corn on the cob, or a famous juicy Spring Chicken Inn crispy chicken sandwich. Mmm. Not me. Sometimes the imagining is better than the reality and does not cost as much in so many ways.
Friday and Saturday nights are the culmination of a two week build up of animal showing, arts, food, grandstand performances, and carnival rides in small town America. After a full afternoon in a bounce house of back to school clothes shopping with Angel, I had absolutely NO desire to engage in any additonal social excitement.
Instead, I am sitting at home in silence listening to the wind do a river dance and feeling grateful for Life. Rain is running off the roof and dripping through a leaky gutter onto the head of a giant green cushball, otherwise known as Sweet William. The space is shared with one stag Peonie in a bed of dirt and quack grass. It sounds like one of those recycling landscaped water treatments. Id more rather like to imagine it like a cool, clear catchpool at the bottom of a fairy waterfall in a magical mystic forest somewhere in Scottland….or the next best place, off an elusive, hidden pathway through a pine and fir forest stand in the Uintah Mountains. The rhythm of the rain and runoff is wonderful as it speeds and slows to a gurgle, gurgle rain dance. The soft rippling roll tickles my ears as if fervently raising hands to applaud all God has created for the living, and the pure joy of loving.
This moment is what I might call best about this day if I had to choose. In this moment I am caught up in the collective calm and peace….until,
Lightning splits the sky and lights an oakbrush stage like a flickering strobe. This makes me jump! It grounds me. I realize and begin to make a mental list of ALL the good of the day, until I am moved to increased gratitude and a list takes form, made to fit the specks of a powerful Rhonda Byrne cd. Words flow to be numbered and paddled in a Pong game between Tesla and Edison. Language is electric in its voltage and amperage……directly…….alternating….lighting, defining and assigning meaning to the last twelve or fourteen hours that have breathed into being in the bellows of my diaphram.
I smile and for a moment I am something Godly with each realization and thank you.
- I am grateful for eye contact, recognition, smiles and greetings with Baristas at Starbucks this morning. Many mornings it feels like a prayer and hailing. I remember times we used to gather round the kitchen table to eat and speak with one another, before everyone grew up to be too busy with work, and school, and play… and go, go go…and restless searching for “Where is home?”
2. I am grateful for good coffee. It soothes as it rolls over my tongue with that first too hot taste. It swirls rich and creamy. It coats my insides like a hot cofflette coffee losenge for a groggy mind and willing heart. It warms me like the promise of children’s hugs and smiles do; like the love of God….and communion; like forgiveness and redemption and all things of the heart.
Yesterday, there was a coffee mix-up, or mess up. This is rare. Someone left 0ut the chocolate syrup and whip cream on my order. Oops! This put my taste buds slightly in withdrawl, and for a moment sent my mind searching for “What to do?” Concluded: Only ask. Only smile. Be kind. Only understand and forgive the oversight toward changed thinking and patience. Only gratitude for all the other blessed perfect coffee mornings I’ve enjoyed day after day for the last year. Only remember what is most important.
I thought back to last Sunday when I sat next to this same young man in worship service while living the mountain life….taking the Lord’s supper. So I quickly thought to choose kindness and gratitude for the small coffee mishap…and saw that Ryan received a smile and benefit of the doubt and forgiveness….Here I felt the same good feeling I felt on Sunday….being alert and choosing to Love. It felt a bit more easy and deliberate and almost involuntary….
Tonight I have to wonder……Why isn’t it always easy for me to love in every situation? Must recognize triggers.
3. I am grateful for reading glasses. Wow! Now I can better see the words in Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. This is my new fun read. Love it and feel I am in a small way walking with him the length of the Apalachan Trail back then in the 90s.
Reading with glasses will take some practice. At first I wanted to scream and stomp on them. I quickly learned that to use the glasses requires discipline and focus. No more gazing off and distracting, unless I want to feel dizzy and nauseous. I am convinced in time I will learn skills that will move me away from attention deficit, just by simply choosing these stylish prescription glasses. I guess I could have tried the cheap drugstore cheaters. Maybe these would produce the same experience. Glasses will also require me to be more responsible for owning them. I can not be as reckless with these as I am with most of my things….including myself.
4. I am grateful for a kickboxing family of friends in Sandy. There is some serious badassery going on there! We build each other up as we reduce each other in body to pools of sweat on a padded mat. I was grateful to be flexing my heart muscles today in this favorite place. I love, love, love to move whether in pleasure or in pain. As I work hard, I can feel. As I feel, I remember I am alive and I am becoming more than I was before. This is beautiful and hopeful.
5. I am grateful for my car, Pearl, and the freedom of the open road. Wow! I’ve had Pearl for almost two years now this September and we have already put 42,000 miles on her odometer. Unbelievable. I am grateful for the time I have driving. I think, and create, and sing psalms and pray and see God’s Masterpieces as only He can make…as he washes the skies with color and drapes the clouds in light and shadows.
6. I am grateful for land, water, and sky….for Nature and open space of the Western U.S.
As I came over the Jordanelle Pass the other day, I thought how the rolling green hills and mountains of scrub oak looked soft enough to stroke with a hand…..that this grand scale model resembled that of a small scale landscape that a miniature toy train engineer might construct and find in the basement of the old Children’s Museum in North Salt Lake on Beck Street.
Mountain greens looked soft like microfiber and Swiffers on the cleaning aisle at Smith’s and fleece in fabric stores, or like a soft towel on the grass at the park, or the plush piled fibers wrapped around small ones in strollers on a summer evening of live music. Soft. soft. soft baby smooth skin is how the green foliage appeared, even though in reality it is anything but soft.
Nature in its forces and foilage is often rough and undiscriminatingly harsh…like the approach of some people. In loving people, places, and things we sometimes romanticize for the sake of seeing things better than they are. The brain is an amazing illusionist for sure.
7. I am grateful for communication via smart phone calls and texts, messages, posts, and pictures. When we are alone, we need not feel lonely as we can still be with others. Technology has closed the distance and connected us across time and miles. Amazing.
8. I am grateful for benches inside and outside of stores where I can sit and largely remove myself from the motions and emotions of consumerism until my daughter has made final selections and it’s time to pay at the register. I love watching people…..that is…..when I am not wearing READING GLASSES. BAH! If I look up from the printed word, my vision becomes very blurry and I become dizzy. This is so freaky….wearing glasses. I found that if I quickly close my eyes and remove the glasses, then I can still participate in people watching upon demand. It is so amazing to hear and witness the words and actions of others, in all the varrying beliefs, traditions, and lies they subscribe to about so many things including style, money, gender issues, dietary choices, and more. I have to wonder if one person’s lie is another person’s truth. Hm.
9. I am grateful for home where I can return to safe sanctuary of peace and quiet. Being home alone is pretty wonderful sometimes. It feels fully free and freeing. Tonight I was able to watch a favorite Netflix series with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and laugh my butt off without being judged by children. Nice.
10. I am grateful for silence. It wasn’t long ago I was on the 36th floor of the Silver Towers Residency tower above a very NOISY 42nd Street in Manhattan NYC. I honestly do no miss that place. Not sure I would make a good city girl. I love it in quiet, rural Utah.
I love rainy days and Sundays…..Isn’t that a song? Just noticed though..the rain has stopped. The silence will soon be interrupted. My young adult children will soon be home in search of food, entertainment, rest and relaxation. My daughter will take control of the remote and subject us to Criminal Minds, at which time I will take flight to my room to read.
Yep. Here come my kids for whom I am certainly thankful for.
“Carpe diem… Seize the day!”
My son has tuned the t.v. to YouTube and a music video tribute to Robin Williams. Time to gather rosebuds while I may. Enough word play. 🙂