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Archive for April, 2010

Contentment renewed

I am not really celebrating the Easter holiday, but I have had a lovely morning.  It is warm and sunny here in Boston – just a perfect spring day.  As I often do on a weekend morning, I walked down to a local cafe and sat down with coffee and a pastry and my book.  As I read and munched and watched the people walking by outside, I noticed that I was in a lovely mood.  One of those moods where I just feel sort of in love with the world and with life.  Do you ever have those moments?

Some of my mood certainly stemmed from small, simple pleasures.  I am reveling in the sunshine and warmth after a long winter and bleak, rainy early spring – I sometimes joke that I am solar powered, and as the days get longer and warmer in the spring, it really seems true.  I am wearing a soft, comfortable, pretty, flattering dress that I had bought back in the fall and been waiting for warm weather to break it out, and my hair was back in twisty braids that might make me look rather young, but are romantic and unique.   And I was enjoying my milky, slightly sweet, fair trade coffee, along with the pecan roll that was melting in my mouth and scattering flaky crumbs on my lap.

Little things like this are sometimes enough to put me in a happy place, but they were aided in this instance by the lingering memories of a wonderful day yesterday.  While basically having a babysitting orientation, I got to hang out with old friends and took their toddler daughter to the park.  The walk to the park was delightful, as the little one’s wonder and curiosity made for frequent stops.  “I see a bird!  It’s flying!” We checked out shadows and flowers and listened to cars, planes, and birdsong.  I think I have a touch of that wonder than overflows in children, so I actually enjoyed the way we had to stop and remark on so many things along the way.  At the park, the munchkin slid on the slide, worked on mastering climbing a panel with slightly tricky alternating cutout footholds (it is so cool to watch kids get the hang of a new skill!), and giggled when I demonstrated hopscotch on a grid someone had drawn on the pavement (“Again!”)  We also investigated an earthworm on the drying sidewalk and relocated it to a grassy area.  It was really fun.  And I got a touch of sunburn on my neck, which isn’t really a good thing, but it’s painless, and at this point in the year, I kind of like the reminder that it is actually warm and bright enough for a sunburn (but I will be more careful from here on out, don’t worry.)  In the afternoon, I went over to my brother’s place, where we kibitzed while participating in the live draft for the fantasy baseball league we’re in with our younger brother.  Hooray for baseball season being back on!  Afterward, we walked to a cute little restaurant that focuses on fresh, local ingredients, where we had lentil soup, fresh bread, maple roasted carrots, beet and blue cheese salad, and creamy mashed potatoes.  Yum!

Today’s happiness was definitely helped along by being preceded by yesterday’s, but it had a different feel.  Sometimes I get  joyful moods, the kind that make me practically skip down the street.  This morning, my emotions seemed more grounded.  Looking out at the world, while sitting with my coffee and pastry and book, my eyes actually welled up a bit.  With happiness, yes, but there was a bittersweet quality there, too.  The recognition that life isn’t perfect, that there are things I would desperately like to change, but that I am still happy and very, very lucky.  Maybe the Easter holiday, or simply the renewal of springtime played a role in my thoughts and feelings.  Subconsciously, I may have had sacrifice, renewal, and redemption on my mind.  This time of year is a reminder to me that we all have problems and failures, but that we are frequently given second (and third, and fourth) chances, to brush ourselves off and try again or make a new plan, to reinvent ourselves in large or small ways.  I have had a stressful couple of months, so that sense of spring renewal is most welcome right now.

This feels a bit like joy, but I think it is actually hopeful contentment.  A willingness, eagerness even, to embrace life and the world, flaws and all.  Simultaneously enjoying the moment and looking forward to what the near future may hold.

Happy Easter and Passover to all who celebrate, and happy spring to everyone!

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