“Happiness is to have a little string onto which things will attach themselves…And my days are likely to be strung with them.”
I wrote an essay about Mrs Dalloway in college about which I can remember only that I used the metaphor of a string of pearls. I know, I’m not the first person to come up with this one. But I think of it all the time: life’s moments, strung together, are each gorgeous on their own and another thing entirely together. These are some of these pearls, things that I’m loving, interested in, paying attention to, lately. These are the things which, strung together, make up my days right now.
Last week Grace and I dropped Whit at lacrosse camp on Monday. We were in a large high school gym, and there were at least 40 kids running around. It was “free time” before they started camp proper, and the other children, who looked much older and bigger than Whit, were playing basketball rowdily. Whit hung back, looking around. I had to get Grace somewhere and then to work. After a few minutes I asked him how he felt about us leaving. He looked at me, swallowed, and said quietly, “I don’t feel that great about that.” So we stayed until they blew the whistle and started organizing into the various specific sports.
That afternoon Whit came home and announced that he had a great day. I’m proud of a lot of things about my children, but watching them enter groups of other children, completely foreign, is on the short list. They are so brave.
2. A couple of years of gentle affection for running skirts has tipped into full-blown love. I love my running skirts. I wear them everywhere, for everything, with the notable exception of running. They are just so comfortable and great when it’s hot out.
3. Despite the fact that I often hear lyrics in my head, I rarely listen to music. One place I do is the car. And now and then I actually make a CD and put it on nonstop rotation. A few songs are on heavy repeat right now: Home by Philip Philips, The Scientist by Willie Nelson, and The Boxer by Mumford & Sons.
On Thursday I took Grace to sleep away camp. For the second year, she and Julia shared a bunk. From the window by their bunkbed, they can look out and see the cabin where I met Jessica, Julia’s mother and one of my very, very closest friends, 25 years ago. Jess was the first person I called on February 15, 2002, when a faint double line on a pregnancy test shocked me speechless. Her daughter and mine were born 12 weeks apart to the day. That they are turning 10, and friends, and together at the camp where we met and began our lifelong friendship is more powerful to me than I can possibly express.
5. This post by Sarah Bessey, In which this is saving my life right now, made me cry and it made me think. In fact it wouldn’t leave me. I kept thinking over and over again of those last lines: let me be singing when the evening comes. They remind me of Jane Kenyon’s words, which ring through my head at least weekly: God does not leave us comfortless, so let evening come. Sarah’s post reminds me that my life is in the littlest minutiae of my days, in the grout between the tiles, in the things I give to those I love, every day, every day.
What are you loving, listening to, learning from, and paying attention to lately?
Get Lindsey's thoughts on mindful living and parenting in your inbox