A few things

“Happiness is to have a little string onto which things will attach themselves…And my days are likely to be strung with them.”
–Virginia Woolf

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.

1.

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.

4.

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?

 


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7 Comments

  1. Posted July 30, 2012 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Was pretty teary eyed through most of this wonderfulness but must admit to laughing at the running skirt comment. I was wearing mine yesterday (after only doing something as strenuous as walking the dog!), when someone asked me where I played tennis. Nope- just wearing it cause it’s cute!

  2. Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Lately I’ve been thinking and dreaming (literally dreaming) of children’s record players, the kind we all used to have in our bedrooms. In fact, I’m thinking of writing a post about them. Calling, Dr. Freud!

    I don’t listen to music much, either, except in the car. I’ve started working on Abra’s birthday slideshow, which is quickly becoming a tradition that I look forward to all year, and am trying to find the perfect piece of music for the background. I’m meditating on the fact that Abra is turning 2 in six weeks, and going through all the photos from the last year has been a weird time warp.

  3. Susan
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    “Tell me what is saving your life right now” is a question I am loving. My answer: two teen-age boys who’re still willing to routinely hang out and REALLY talk to their mom, late nights with friends listening to good live music, light-hearted texts and heartfelt conversation with long-time friends who are trusting I will always be there (and I will.)
    And the laughter, oh the laughter, contained in all the things I just described.

    p.s. Phillip’s Home and David Nail’s The Sound of a Million Dreams are on repeat for me!

  4. Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I love that you wear running skirts, but not for running. Just like my yoga pants worn for anything and everything but yoga. I’m going to have to find me some running skirts now.

  5. Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Hysterical. Just bought a running skirt THIS weekend and thought, “Geez, I love this–wonder if I can wear it when I’m not running?” Now I know that yes, indeed, I can.

    I’m paying attention to the knots in my shoulders and the bags under my eyes, knowing that they’ve a story to tell, one that will end in sickness if I don’t slow down.

    I’m paying attention to the periodic tenderness between my children which is a treasure, especially since they act like dueling siblings a lot of the time.

    I’m listening to Bach’s Bradenburg Concerto. Like a salve for my over-active brain.
    xo

  6. Posted July 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    First Mumford and Sons song I ever heard was Sigh No More. Great one. Listening to Jason Mraz’s Love is a Four Letter Word CD, especially the song I Won’t Give Up. Beautiful words. Love that he’s an avocado farmer. Reading Alice Waters’ The Art of Siimple Food. Love that you use the word “minutiae.” 🙂

  7. Posted August 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey, I love this post. Love the picture of the kids, love that you checked with Whit before leaving him. Love my running skirts (and I do run in them…I never have an issue with chafing that I sometimes do with my running shorts. Love Mumford and Sons (they’re amazing in concert) and Philip Philips (he was my favorite this season). Glad you are having some nice one-on-one time while Grace is at camp. While her absence probably leaves you feeling incomplete in some ways, it’s such a wonderful experience for her…and that individual time you get with Whit is so valuable.