We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
My life is rich with treasure. I try to take the time to remember this each day, but sometimes life just gets busy. Sometimes I don’t make the space to really feel all of it. Today, home on a snow day, the truth of all of my treasure felt particularly close. And when truth feels close, you know it’s time to make a list.
1. A girl and her dog. From my cozy spot on the couch this AM I saw Toad coming up the street after her snowy run. A couple of minutes passed and I thought “Where is she? Isn’t she cold out there?”. So, I got up from my nest to check things out. I found Kate in the snow making what I thought was a snowman. It was actually a snow dog, which became clear soon. Watching her work in her serious and yet joyful way just made me smile. And of course…take a picture.
2. Weekend getaways. In the midst of the insanity of Toad’s board study and my adventure with three new class preps, we decided to hit the road last weekend. Work responsibilities have been sucking up all of the air around here since January, so driving away from all of it felt great. We dropped Baker off with his grandparents and spent two nights in our favorite place. We met in Asheville and it’s always been a special place for us. This weekend we parked the car at our favorite hotel in the middle of downtown and didn’t get back in until it was time to come home on Sunday. Love that. There was sleeping late, a movie at the Fine Arts Theatre (The Wrestler), wandering through the little hippie shops (Toad FINALLY has a pair of Frye boots), camping out in the coffee shop at Mallaprop’s planning our summer honeymoon, yummy meals at our favorite spots (Laughing Seed Cafe & Green Sage), running through the neighborhoods and even church with the UUs. None of the activity list really mattered though. What did matter was that we had time for us. Beyond the books and the jobs and the scheduling and the pets and the friends and the family. Just the two of us. Man, did that feel good. Does she feel good. A treasure for sure.
3. Employment. Not only do we both have jobs, but we both have jobs that we like more days than we don’t. No small thing. Given the current state of the economy, I’m even more grateful that I landed a tenure-track job. That I have some measure of stability. Probably not really all that much, but it’s something. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I left a tenure-track job that I was happy with and managed to find another. It’s actually really hard to believe. At the same time though, I knew that leaving that job and moving here was right. It was the the flow my life was taking and I had to go with it. Life was here with this girl and I guess the universe agreed. Grateful doesn’t really cover it.
4. Friends. A few days ago I got an email that said: “I’m taking Friday off and we’re coming for the weekend”. That message felt like a deep breath. T and Z and Bella are coming for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. Knowing that on Friday I will be able to squeeze that little girl and see how big she’s gotten. That I will get to spend two whole days with her parents. Talking and cooking and laughing and just being together in the same place. Again, treasure only scratches the surface.
5. Pets. There is just nothing as real as an animal. What you see is what you get. I love that. I love Gadget and Baker. They don’t love one another, but they make it work. The last few weeks have been pretty Baker focused. Lots of walks and snuggling in bed and tricks and trips in the car. Getting to know each other and really bonding. Although irritated, Gadget has been patient with his housemate. Making the basement his home base and venturing upstairs when the mood strikes. Not exactly the Welcome Wagon, but nobody is really acting ugly (still a little nervous about the possibility here). Baker will be with his grandparents until Wednesday, so today the coast was clear for Gadget. It has been great to have the little man around. We’ve spent most of the day together and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ll be thrilled to see Baker on Wednesday, but I plan to soak up as much Gadget as I can in his absence.