One more day of work, but yesterday felt like summer’s return. Sure the temperature dropped a startling (and welcomed) thirty-plus degrees, more reminiscent of early fall than early summer, but we still gathered around the big outdoor table to celebrate my stepsister’s 25th birthday with our beloved oak tree and retreating sun to awe us with their nightly slow dance.
Specialty cocktails a la Pinterest, a communal canvas, and happy dogs helped to set the mood for summer, my nephew inviting each of us to take a turn alongside him in the hammock.
Sweet, sweet summer, you always leave us too fast. I know you’ve just arrived, but we’re going to hold on extra tight this year…
Life is fuller with conscious gratitude. In the months following Thanksgiving, I realized something was missing without Thankfulness Thursdays. Today, a revival.
I’m thankful to be alive. I’m thankful for coworkers who listen, laugh, and cry with me. I’m grateful for enormous clouds filled with thunder and rain, kind enough to wait until the children go home. I’m happy that winter is nearing an end, grateful for my husband to join me in 29 years of life, our five months of overlapping age when he stops teasing me. I’m ecstatic that next week is spring break, thankful for sore cheeks from smiling too much during the talent show auditions.
I’m pleased our interim testing is done so that I can stop bribing tired children with handfuls of popcorn for every five problems they complete. I’m happy for the realization that peeling a mandarin orange each morning is enough to make that one enigmatic child feel safe, loved. I’m thankful I pushed my tired self to go to hot yoga, the warmth and peace seeping deep into my bones, glad I called my dad after work, just to say hi.
Mostly I’m grateful that no matter how challenging my day or week, there are people in my life who care enough to listen, read, and offer a helping hand. Reminds me a little of these two trees at my family’s house. They stand side-by-side through storms and wind and heat, their branches intertwined.
I think I have a new rule to add to my guiding principles for blogging…
Blogging while tired may be almost as bad as blogging while drunk. I feel like I need some sort of little indicator that warns me to just give up and walk away. This week has been exhausting, not sure why, hasn’t been a bad week, but I’ve been beyond tired. The last post I wrote took me what seemed like hours and I still was not able to really say what I wanted– had to go back and do some little cleaning last night, but even then, was too tired to really tackle it.
Then there have been all the other topics I’ve wanted to write about– a child referring to Mitt Romney as “A bad, bad man,” like a predator or the boogie man, while I tried to keep an unbiased, straight face, the less noticeable beauty of the sunset through the roof and tree-lines of the valley, (as opposed to the majestic unobstructed views shared elsewhere), an acceptance to the kind words/blogging award given over at Talkin’ Shit. But, even today, my brain is just too tired to really piece together a meaningfully intelligent or humorous post.
So, instead, a decree.
No blogging while tired. And, when I mean tired, I mean really tired, like when you have to read your sentences five or six times to make sure they make sense, (and then you still sit there scrunching your face at the screen, uncertain if you succeeded, allowing way too much valuable time to disappear into the black hole of the internet).
Too bad I’m already breaking my own principle. Hard to stay away. Must stop rereading sentences even if I can’t tell if they make sense. At least I can say I’ve never blogged while drunk… Although, can’t promise it would be much different.
My brother has a ritual. No matter where he is or what he is doing, he must stop and watch the sunset every single day. The first couple times I was around for this, I thought, really, we have to wait until it is all the way down?
But then I watched him, sitting on the hillside, the magnificent display of colors in the sky as the sun slipped beneath the coastal mountain range off in the distance, and I understood. Watching the entire sunset every evening is an act of gratitude to life and this amazing planet we inhabit. It is so easy to forget to look at the sky, to miss its daily beauty, a show put on for us two times each day in case we miss the first.
This summer, when we were in Kauai, every evening was a celebration of the sinking sun. Cars and people would stop, where ever they might be, pulling off the road even, to watch the entire show. As the colors grew more amazing, more people would arrive, and soon there would be an audience of strangers brought together to witness the beauty of the sky, a certain surreal joy felt by locals and tourists alike.
That’s when I decided my brother belonged in Kauai, a place where people stop nightly to watch the setting sun. But, maybe it’s not just my brother that belongs there. Maybe we all do, or rather we deserve to live a life where there is time and willpower enough to stop and enjoy the show as part of a greater community.
To me, seeking out sunsets is symbolic of something much more profound– it represents a commitment to being present in a world that pulls us all directions at once. I thank my brother for teaching me this and look forward to tonight’s setting sun spent with family.
A rainy day, three tropical storms somewhere far away. But that’s okay. It did not rain on our parade. The rain was beautiful and warm, leaving little waterfalls trickling down the mountainsides. Time to explore Hanalei Town, hike between downpours, and enjoy the evening at the pool, clouds parting to a stunning, setting sun.
Proof it only rains on your parade if you let it.