Summer has arrived! I know, I know, technically summer has been around for a month already, but in my world, summer equals warmth, which we haven't really been wallowing in yet this year. Finally, the warmth feels like it's building; nothing too drastic yet, but slowly, every day a bit warmer. It's delightful, even though it has now caused the rest of the apricots to plunk down to the ground at a rate I can't quite keep up with, no matter how many I give away.
Last night I was doing my nightly rounds while texting with a friend about our mutual need to ignore the current news, puttering with the dogs and chickens, checking the yard, and before I knew it, the sun had gone down. I hadn't really paid attention to the sunset--I was on the other side of the house, I think, when it really went down--and it was super dusky, warm and quiet. It was just so delightful to stand there and feel the night roll in. I stood there, in the middle of the back yard, and thought about the stuff that really matters, to me, and how I need to spend more time reflecting on those things, rather than letting my life get eaten up with less important matters. After a few minutes, it occurred to me that there should be a moon, shouldn't there? Where was it? Then I started thinking about the Pale Blue Dot video and pulled up YouTube up on my phone. I mean, I'm waiting for the moon, so why not go look at a space video with Carl Sagan's voice? I found the one below, which I don't think I've watched before; or if I have, it's been awhile. It's a longer version than just the main quote that gets shared a lot. It always resonates, but last night it super-resonated, what with all the weighty stuff of the world currently.
When the video was over I looked at the horizon and saw the glow. The moon! It was coming! Finally. I texted Seth to come and watch it, and he sweetly obliged his mom and came and watched, chatting as the glow-dial turned all the way up until the moon peeked over the Blues. I couldn't help take a couple of pictures, to try and capture this lovely night. (Of course they don't even remotely do it justice.)
I haven't told one of the stories that brought me back to Friday nights and my list, but I've meant to. There were a few of these interactions over my inactive year (or two) that reminded me of why I'd started doing it, and the value of not just being grateful, but of the act of noting gratitude as a ritual. I was at the spring musical at the local high school--something I did only once in Seth's whole high school experience, so not really my natural habitat. But friends had raved about The Little Mermaid, so I corralled another mom of a recent grad into going with me. We sat in the back (we're similar that way, I knew I was asking a like-minded date!), and beside two sisters and a mom I know. Lovely ladies, you know who you are, and your words of encouragement about missing the devotional feel of this Friday night ritual meant more than you probably realize. Thank you.
Week before last was a rough one, locally, as many lost a dear person, and the gathering that followed the loss brought my dear friend Kate to town. Of course that means gathering, and eating, and laughing and crying and sharing. Of course. Thank you, friends, for the time and space to be together. And thanks for giving me an opportunity to crack open a much-loved but not-enough-used cookbook, and bake up a delightful cake. I will need to make this again, definitely.
This week, I am grateful for:
Hugs from Seth. Those hugs are awesome.
Apricots. Even though I sometimes curse how full the tree has been this year, I am so grateful for the bounty. And basil. And the tomatoes that are coming on, and kale, and zucchini and even the precious few okra we've had so far.
Our pups. Such sweet loves. They know exactly what we're up to in the mornings. They know when I'm getting ready to go, and they come upstairs to get more loving from husband before I put them outside. And of course, General *must* bark when I kiss husband goodbye. He just cannot deal with that affection. He is a funny buddy.
Our view. Being able to watch the sunrise and moonrise from the yard is not something I take for granted. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I'm rather captivated by my surroundings, and find the view very tolerable, indeed. I am stopped short by this landscape, almost daily. :)
Water. Not to be taken for granted, at all, in this world with limited resources. To be able to water my garden and bathe and drink and all the things we *do* take for granted.
Friendship. From my best-husband-friend to my girlfriends old and new, I am blessed beyond what I deserve.
The instant gratification of purchasing an airline ticket on a day when I needed something to look forward to.
The ability, and desire, to be real with people. When I observe un/non-realness (or as a normal person would write = inauthentic), the first thing I think is, why? The world is so much better when people are really who they are. And as I type that, I can think of a few exceptions. (Heh.) Maybe it would be better to say, "In general, it is better when people are really who they are."
Laughter. Always a plus, in any day.
Doesn't it feel like week before last, it was ALL Pokemon? And this week? Crickets.
Last, a few words to remember:
"Just for today, I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to notice what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me." -Kenneth L. Holmes