blessed, blessed day

the plan is this: stitch one blessed stretch of time with as many moments of grace and delight as i possibly can.

already i have been out bowing to the moon, listening to the rush of the wind, the far-off cry of the trains rumbling into the city. the birds, they were quiet, nestled still in their limbs, in their slumber.

see, i hopped out early. barely fluttered an eyelid, saw 6 something winking at me in bright red numbers, leapt. not a moment to waste on this day of days.

listening to my own challenge from yesterday–the birdsong v. the treadmill–i pulled my red-plaid flannel robe tighter, slipped old shoes on my feet and went out to inhale God’s world, to bow to the moon. to use the burgeoning goosebumps as reminder that i am so extraordinarily blessed to be alive, here at the mid-century mark.

in days of old, every move mattered, mattered to the extreme, on my birthday. i made lists, stacked one blessed moment on top of another. and when the birthday ebbed, i ached, thinking i needed to wait a whole nother sweep of the calendar before once again i could indulge in such simple pleasures, stacked one on the other, all through the day.

over the years, i got wiser. realized the true gift was seeing each day as a blessing. stitching grace, beauty, magical moments into any old day on the page.

and so, for instance, i set tables. set them as if it’s my birthday. old blue willow plates, a basket of clementines, coffee poured into my old favorite mug, the red one with little white hearts all around, and a few chips at the rim.

i make rich simple foods, foods of the earth, unadorned as often as possible. a snippet of herb, plucked from my sill, is enough to send me swooning.

i breathe deep, i breathe lasting.

the one gift i give on my birthday is the rare and incredible gift of taking time. i will dally over coffee, take a long walk to no particular place. i will sit before the fire, writing, flipping pages in a book that delights. i will drink in the tick of the clock. i will, thanks to the public school schedule, be with my boys all through this day.

nothing fancy. not a drop. intentionally, consciously so. i will, all through the day, whisper a long-winding prayer: blessed God you have kept me aloft and afloat. have not let me bob under the waters. filled my lungs, filled my heart, filled my arms. i am awake to your gifts, lord. i am awake. and that, in the end, is the most marvelous gift.

may you, each one of you, live this day stitched with riches and grace. simple riches. the ones you can’t buy. the ones that come from living awake.

i sign off hoping and praying that your days and mine, we never forget that each blessed one holds the possibility for all that is breath-takingly, spine-tinglingly good.

that, after all, is the ultimate challenge: to live a day, not in a rush toward some other day, some other deadline. but deeply to dwell in the blessing of blessings. deeply to dwell in the riches within.

may there be even one moment in this day that’s unfolding when you find yourself whispering, ah this is a day that is blessed, this is a double blessed day.