Happy Sunday evening friends! (Or happy whatever time and day it is, thank you so much for stopping in!)
"The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible.
And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible.
Isn't joy the art of God?"
I am past due for a good old-fashioned Senses Inventory, and indulging in one right now is perfect for what I'm reading this weekend. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp is just awesome. She has inspired me to start a journal of a thousand gifts for which I am truly grateful, and the list is growing easily, rampantly. (Amber, thank you so much for pressing me to read it!) The art of cultivating gratitude is crucial to a good, rich life, as I'm sure you agree. As November prods forward, I'll write more about that. For now, here is what I notice from where I sit and write:
See: Mia (canine Mia) the white fluffball princess sitting, pacing, in the wide east-facing bay window. Big, golden circle of lamplight folded between the wall and the ceiling, cross-sectioned by a shadow of the lampshade frame. Vibrant, glossy green pothos and various ivy plants and ferns. Some dried flowers too, and dried corn stalks. Bluish white twinkle lights on the fireplace mantle and all those odd colorful ornaments lingering up there. No longer Halloween, not quite the winter holidays. Beautiful scalloped ceramic bowl of fresh fruit offering me health. Leathery oranges. Mottled banana. Watching the light outside shift from glowing orange and gold to a sexier, smoother blue and gray. Now purple. Now nearly black. All these, within minutes. Now the full, pregnant moon between the trees.
Hear: Something hissing outside. Handsome and his Dad are working on cars, so it's probably an air compressor. Or a really gigantic King Cobra. Or the solenoid. (Isn't it always that with cars?) Mia the tiny fluffy dog yipping at every creature who happens past her authoritative perch. Now her click clack toenails across the wood floors. Geese whining and honking as they parade towards bedtime. (Open windows allow for every farm noise to roll through the house. I love this.) End of the dishwasher cycle, just a hum. Pacino (the parrot) clucking and groaning contentedly to himself, cracking seeds, and dipping his great beak in the water dish. Now he whispers hiiiii to his water. Or to me.
Smell: Faint trace of bleachy dish soap. Sharp, crisp outdoor smells gusting in through the open windows. Eggnog candle burning warmly. My father-in-law's aftershave. Pumpkin bread in front of me. That banana.
Touch: Clean hair, blown soft and loose for a change. Thickly padded leather seat of my favorite very old rocking chair. My own bare feet on the wood floor. Scratchy throat from incessant coughing but a belly full and warm from an afternoon cappuccino. Thickly textured and lace-trimmed tablecloth beneath my wrists. Heavily beaded necklace on my collarbone.
Taste: Remnants of that afternoon cappuccino. Teasing, stolen kisses from Handsome. (I feel a date night coming soon.)
Think: I am thinking about the amazing orchestration of some spiritual lessons this past year, maybe longer. All orbiting more or less around how to think and how to approach both joy and sorrow... Faith. Formulas. All of it is coordinating instead of contradicting, and that is a real thrill! I am thinking about my firstborn daughter and her new job. About her beauty, her talents, her sweet texts this week. Her future and how can I help her with that? Only God knows, and I trust Him. I am thinking about my baby and how sweet and growing she is, how tall and elegant, how vulnerable. I think about my husband and his deepening grief, about his Dad and how much I have learned by having that precious man in this house with us. I am thinking about how maybe the three of us should just have ice cream for dinner.
Feel: Hopeful. Optimistic. No, more than that... joyful in advance! I feel happily corrected in some old wrong thinking of mine. I feel so clearly inspired and so well instructed, that I almost can't NOT talk about it! I feel ready and grateful, happy and light. What a switch. I feel amazed by how good church was today, by how genuine the worship felt, despite so many things. I feel a spark of energy.
I don't know yet know what tomorrow holds, but I am content to not even wonder, certainly not to worry. That, for the first time in a very long time, is a description of how I feel rather than a declaration to which I aspire. What a difference! This moment, right now, is perfect.
Wishing you all deep, still peace. Health. Comfort in the best possible ways. Refreshment, Romance. Hope. Restoration. Every good thing. Not hiding from your problems but accepting joy despite them.