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.
Barbara, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Enjoy each moment, and you don’t have to stay inside to stay warm.
If it were my birthday then I could justify not tending to the things that I need to do. I was just sipping my coffee over a crossword puzzle lamenting my inability to get over the holiday hump and tend to those NewYear resolutions.
Alas, it’s not my birthday, but the kids are still off school so we are spending the day learning to navigate Chicago CTA style.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 – 09:28 AM
Oh Susan, sitting out here in the ‘burbs with my kids asking me to drive them uptown, I feel the pull of your CTA navigation education. To have city-wise kids feels a million miles from where mine are. They think Evanston is the deep urbs. I know how you feel when you can’t get past the vacation. I’m there, too. I can’t even bring myself to do the reading for a (pleasurable) group I’m in because it’s an assignment.
Babsela, happy happy 50th. A big psychic change, perhaps, and a line of demarcation, but in another sense just another day toward where you are going. I know big things are happening today in the M-K house and hope you feel celebrated the way they intended you to be.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 – 02:34 PM
Hope this third comment doesn’t bring the server down. This may be my first blog entry, a virgin no more (at something, finally).
Happy Birthday. I did not know but felt compelled to click on you this afternoon and check in on you. God works in strange ways, right Susan?
As evidence of maturity, I am not sharing which birthday this is other than I am pretty sure it is not a prime number.
Happy New Year, Happy Birthday and Bless You Dear.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 – 03:41 PM
Barbie … on this special day, I wish you strength in body and spirit, health in heart and soul, happiness in home and family. I wish you giggles and belly-laughs, smiles that reach up to crinkle your nose and eyes, contagious joy that infects everyone around you, a spring in your step and a song in your heart. You are one in a billion, a unique creation, Indeed, this is a blessed, blessed day.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 – 03:59 PM
It is your birthday and yet you give us this gift.
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 – 04:51 PM
your sister east
I am out of my mind in love with your BLOG!!! It is scary…it feels so right!!!! I started with the “daily meanderings” (just today, your birthday). I thought how nice is this. I was going to save “the lazy susan”, “the bottomless cup” and “about me” for another day….I couldn’t do it. I had to take a peak. I have found a treasure. Keep this going, it is where you need to be. I will be back as often as I can. SO many things more to say to you…but I must get to sleep.
If, I’m not mistaking PJV-AZ had a beautiful birthday comment!! He also has the gift of words even though music is his passion.
With lots of love, your sister east
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 – 09:30 PM
Happy Belated Birthday, Barbie my girl. I’m afarid I’m a little too spent for eloquence tonight but wanted to wish you many more adventure-filled decades. You’re an inspiration.
Thursday, January 4, 2007 – 09:53 PM