Tomorrow I’m going to start my first of four posts reflecting on 2015. I know! Already! But with that in mind, I wanted to capture what the last few weeks have been like around here, in photographs. Most of these images I’ve shared on Instagram (lemead) with the hashtag #everydaylife, because that’s what they are. By photographing and memorializing the details of my regular old life in words, I hope to remember them, since I know that it’s in the grit that the glitter lives. That was, after all the original purpose of this blog when I started it over 9 years ago.
When I was working on this post I read Katie’s gorgeous piece, Lighting Our Candles, her acknowledgment that ordinary work is a refuge, all we can do, and an occasional source of great joy. I adored her words, and felt deeply reassured by them. They reminded me of my own reflections from years ago that life’s quotidian demands can both hem us in and keep us together.
Katie’s post felt like an exhale, a reminder that I’m not alone, that my sense of rawness and raggedness is both internal and external, that feeling buffeted by the world these days hardly makes me insane. So, with her words echoing in my mind and with my renewed sense that celebrating the small moments is both all I can do and simultaneously the most important thing I do, are a few scenes from around here lately.
What a gift that Grace and Whit still enjoy reading picture books. The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson and Jon Muth and The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola are two of our very favorites. As it very often does, reading together that night smoothed the edges of what had been a very rough day.
We put up our tree. As we decorated it, we discussed how some trees are decorated with beautiful, coordinated ornnaments and some are decorated with sentimental ornaments and sometimes those two things don’t coexist. Ours is the latter, they concluded swiftly. That’s ok by me.
I traveled a lot for work the first couple of weeks of December, and one night I was away Matt sent me this photo of dinnertime. I won’t lie to you: it made me cry. But I love it, too.
Finally, some skies, because there’s no faster and surer way to bring me back to right now, to wonder and gratitude, to realizing how very full with beauty this life is. I realize that admiring the sky doesn’t necessarily qualify as the “ordinary work” this post is meant to celebrate, but maybe, in some ways, it does? Looking, watching, seeing, noticing: in some ways those are a big part of my everyday work. I know that now.
Sunset from my office, December 7, 2015.
Sunrise from the air between Boston and Chicago, December 9, 2015.
This is what I have. This is what I see. This is what I feel. In a moment that feel so intensely dark – literally, but also metaphorically – these feel like small, small things. But maybe they are also as big as life itself.
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