“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.”
– Ann Patchett
Don’t be so surprised my readers, I promised more this 2017 year. I don’t have any travels on the horizon that I can share about yet – some ideas and some dreams are swirling in my mind. It won’t be a year to sit still for certain.
Today, I worked on my intention of kindness. Not on purpose – a sort of by accident. I was in the supermarket.
I am a smiler – gets me in trouble, crazy people approach me all the time but I cannot help it, I smile. I don’t want to be one of those crank pot old ladies with a grumpy face. Besides, I was born under the bright August sun – maybe I am moody and mercurial, my resting nature is sunny. It’s how I love, it’s how I deal – not on purpose, I shine a bit of sunshine around. It’s completely annoying to my cynical side and not for nothing, it’s a bit of a chore too. Not in a happy go lucky kind of way, goodness no. But sunny all the same.
You might as well all really get to know me this year – no more cryptic references and 30 year old stories – and for my friends and family who already do, stay the course. I care for my octogenarian year old sassafras of a mother. I didn’t plan this but this is anchor that keeps me in this cow town most of the year and why my wings cannot spread and fly me so so far away from here permanently – just now and again, more again please always. And so on Sundays, I need to go buy the food as the unintentional caregiver I have become. Don’t worry, I always buy her gin. It makes her happier. She’s old, don’t judge.
Back to the supermarket, smiling me first got a sweet old man to hand me coupons I didn’t need – he insisted. I turned them down three times but I took them and walked on. The market was humming with people and long endless check out lines. I chose one and the woman in front of me, dark circles under her eyes, frazzled was unloading her towering cart. No bagger, slow check out clerk – so she was bagging herself and left her still half full cart in front of me. So, I unloaded it for her, one of those selfless, selfish things we can opt to do. The person behind me thanked me, clearly we all were tired of the market. I offered her the coupons just because but she said no and then gave me another coupon instead that I could use. After she was done, I gave the old man coupons to the frazzled woman ahead of me because someone needed to take them. Weird paying it forward backwards moment. Why am I even telling you all this story which is nice but maybe a bit too much information and smidgen boring?
I am telling you all because it’s been a hard weekend and a hard 2016, it started hard, ended hard and sometimes, we all forget that the tiniest act of kindness can be like a butterfly wing’s beat, that flows out into the world like wind of goodness – kindness is sunshine on a winter’s day. Even my cynical heart believes in this concept (in a sort of fairytale I refuse to not believe it kind of way – I am complicated). And if it’s not under a foreign sky, I’ll accept the commonplace supermarket kindness kind of sunshine on a holiday Monday, 2017, on day two. You know why? Summer is invincible and it will always warm your soul.
And that dear readers, is #2 of of 2. Not so bad for a reformed blogslacker.
“Africa has her mysteries and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them.”
Miriam Makeba (South African singer and civil rights activist)
Tomorrow it is – meanwhile, surrounded by piles of clothing, twists of plugs, missing adaptors, stray Euros, matchless socks, you’d hope that someday I get better at this part, the leaving.
Why do I go? Why must I go back? Zebras. No really, I travel because my mind gets too cluttered and being in new challenging places makes me a bit more honest with myself, helps me clear up the clutter in the face of the unknown. Who is the traveler in me that I meet on the road? She’s the best version of me now, I’d hope. The one who has an open mind, an open heart and let’s all she meets have a moment, even those on the hustle. I am not as good at that at home. I judge, I grouse, I get bogged down, I am petty on my bad days. The mystery of the unknown, unplanned makes it all better somehow.
I’ll try to update from out there but out there has spotty wifi. Be well, ten readers, thanks for reading, following along.
“When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.”
― Karen Blixen,
Two week countdown begins….
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. ~Henry Van Dyke
Slushy, snowy, gun metal grey skies…. March is a tough month here in the Massachusetts Berkshires (just in case anyone thought I meant English Berkshires, alas, no). I don’t have much magic to share today. I loved my trip south to Tulum and Mexico. I ate my fill of fish tacos, topped off my Vitamin D in the sunshine and vacationed to the max.
March – the march to warmer weather has begun… the forecast today: snow. In like a LION, out like a cow, please!!
1 Jan – 1:23 AM – Hanover Street, North End, Boston: On every block, another post midnight cliche… the fighting couple, the restaurant filled with revelers dancing to Usher’s last year’s hit, the brand new couple-maybe-to-be negotiating with their friends to be able to take the only available taxi by themselves, Boston boys with Bruins hats, Happy Drunks, Sad Drunks, Waitresses and Valet Guys saying good night, Firemen coming back from a false call and an ancient old Italian man telling everyone of us Buon Anno. A slice of New Year’s Eve’s aftermath. The good, the bad… you get it.
The new year is but three days old. Have seen and spent time with a few of my favorite people. Have watched good movies, eaten delicious food.
Nothing has really changed. My warriors are still fighting their life battles – real life is like an icy cold shower these days. But… somehow, for once, my soul’s a little brighter and lighter this year. Maybe I am just older, wiser, more ready for whatever comes next – I wrote last year of hoping to find grace (here: 2013 year in review). I thought at the turn of 2013 into 2014 I had found it. As always, I knew nothing about grace. I love the way life teaches all of us that the moments we feel, hey, I really get this gig, another 364 days later, I am humbled. I only got it a bit – I was certainly grateful, and grace to navigate life is absolutely needed but nope, that was just the first glimpse. Grace yes, but let’s go bigger in 2015.
“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”Alfred Tennyson
Good old Tennyson – he’s on the money this year.
To heck with Peace (not really!), I want happiness this year. I want joy. I actually may want it all. I want my family and friends to win – the lottery, their health, their marriages saved, their promotions delivered, their houses to sell, more? Everyday miracles and hard won success – have at it. Fill in your blank and I will want that for you too. Peace is great but getting that glorious goodness, well, it’s better, it’s more and call me crazy, that’s what I am asking for this go round the sun. If I don’t ask, if I don’t expect it, crave it, push for it, it doesn’t happen so bring it.
Wherever this year heads, whatever my adventures may be, I can say for certain for once, it started right. To Life, this isn’t a challenge but whatever’s in store, make it great, make it fantastic, memorable and superb. Lighten the load for some of my people.
Happy New Year my five regular readers (thank you all for staying the course). Happy New Year to my beloveds & family. Happy New Year to friends and travelers not yet met.
Most of all – Happy New Adventures people. I hope 2015 brings goodness in abundance, all over the place.