Little wonders all around

This blog began, and continues to be, a catalog of my life’s most ordinary moments.  Over the course of years, as I memorialized fragments of my everyday experiences, I realized that they were actually the most lambently beautiful of my life.  I used to regularly write posts about these small moments, when I glimpsed the glitter of divinity, when I remembered, and powerfully, that life is beautiful.

I don’t know why I stopped, but it feels like time for another benediction of the little wonders that are all around me.

Lately1

A Wrinkle in Time was my favorite childhood book.  Grace read it last year and Whit just finished it.  Watching my children fall in love with a story that I adored is among the most wonderful experiences of parenting.  Whit in particular loved it and is working his way through the series now.  I think he relates to Charles Wallace in a strong way.

IMG_4687

A glorious sunrise from the sky en route to Chicago for the day.

IMG_4842

A couple of weeks ago I played hooky for an hour to walk to school to get the kids in a blizzard.  We walked home slowly, stopping to play in the rapidly accumulating snow.  Both Grace and Whit were relaxed and joyful.  I defiantly ignored my blinking blackberry and sank into their delight.  There is so much magic here: we just have to let ourselves see it.

IMG_4676I love so many things about the organic geometry of bare branches against winter’s steel-gray sky, but most of all I love the way I can see birds’ nests that are hidden in other seasons.  I am constantly struck by this metaphor: when things are stripped down to their most essential architecture the trust safe spots are revealed, these nests whose existence in a New England winter belies their apparent fragility.  There is sturdy comfort in the most barren places.
IMG_4878

We didn’t go away for President’s Day weekend as I had to work a lot, but we did do a Saturday day trip to our favorite mountain and skiied with some of our dearest friends. I took this picture at the top of a narrow, deserted glade as I watched my children, my husband, and two of the adults I love most ski down. I felt a powerful awareness of how incredibly fortunate I am.

In those moments, like at the top of the mountain or in the air watching the sun rise, I feel a soul-stirring sense of awe which I can express best with the inarticulate and inelegant “wow.”

In the last few months I’ve found this in the skyfire of sunset and in the glow of the moon rising, in the nests in bare trees, in the sudden, noisy song of dozens of sparrows even though I can’t see them, in the long shadows of my daughter’s eyelashes against her sleeping cheeks, in the words of poets and writers too numerous to mention.

Does this constant wow contradict the low note of lamentation that plays constantly in my life?  I don’t actually think so.  Maybe remaining open to the wow necessitates a permeability of spirit that means I’m also open to a certain sorrow.  These are the two edges of the world’s beauty that Virginia Woolf described, anguish and laughter springing from the same single truth.  I suspect I’m just joining my voice to an ancient chorus here, kneeling in supplication among a swirling sea of humanity.  And we all whisper the same thing under our breath:

wow.

(I wrote parts of this in in April 2012, and every word is still true)


Get Lindsey's thoughts on mindful living and parenting in your inbox

10 Comments

  1. Posted March 5, 2014 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The kids and I are reading A Wrinkle in Time right now… I love Charles Wallace :)

    admin Reply:

    Oh, I do too! xox

  2. Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Lovely. The sky truly has been amazing around here this winter, hasn’t it?!

    admin Reply:

    Oh yes it has! I took some pictures of the sunset two nights ago and on Instagram someone asked if it was real!

  3. Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Mmm, so true, sorrow and wonder use the same passageway . xo

    admin Reply:

    Oh yes, yes, they do. I’m so grateful that you feel this as deeply as I do.

  4. Posted March 5, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Great pictures. I couldn’t agree more, and have gotten so much better at “remaining open to the wow.” Love that!

  5. Posted March 5, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Oh I just took in a gulp of air when I saw ‘A Wrinkle in Time’! It’s funny because I remember so little of the actual book, yet know that it was somehow magical and important to me as a child. I look forward to experiencing it again with my kids.

    And ‘lambently’…what a great word.

  6. Posted March 5, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Lovely. I agree that to be open to the “wow” moments, you make yourself vulnerable to sadness. I think the sadness comes with knowing how fragile these beautiful moments really are.

  7. Posted March 5, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    “There is sturdy comfort in the most barren places.” How beautifully you have articulated this truth.

    I love the “soul-stirring sense of awe” and “permeability of spirit” that continue to compel you to chronicle the moments of your life. Your words have a symphonic quality that is entirely your own. It’s true – you are indeed part of an “ancient chorus.” Even so, Lindsey, you’re one of my favorite composers.

    Thank you for all you share on A Design So Vast. xoxo

  8. Posted March 6, 2014 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness I love that book so much. And how cool that you wrote the post two years ago and can still feel the truth of it all today.

  9. Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I love this. Taking the time to marvel at the ordinary rings true for me. And it is something I need to embrace more often. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Posted March 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I love this as I do all of your posts. Mostly I just love the WAY that you notice. And this line: anguish and laughter springing from the same single truth.

    I have such a hard time realizing that laughter and anguish spring from a single truth.