Today I want to rant—about kids not listening to me, about carpool drivers who think the "don't turn left into the carpool lane" rule doesn't apply to them, people in ginormous SUVs blocking the McDonald's drive through exit, the never-ending drone of politics on the news, the stupid bill before the Utah senate that would ban any sex education except for "abstinence only," the facts that I can't get rid of this cold and my printer won't work and my computer is making me nuts.
Except (despite the obvious lack of posting) I've been trying to encourage myself to look on the positive side. Before I started writing I listened to a news segment on the recent high school shooting and then I put my (fevered) head down and wept because none of my gripes really, really matter in the face of how fragile life is. What if that happened this morning at one of my kids' schools—a shooting? I didn't hug Haley goodbye this morning because she was running late and in a hurry. I did hug Jake, but we hardly had the chance to see each other or say anything meaningful. And while I did hug, kiss, and say goodbye to both Nathan and Kaleb (after notletting that Escalade turn left in front of me), I also shouted at them this morning because they were rough housing instead of getting their shoes on.
Not a perfect morning. But I have them—for now. Who ever thinks that when they send their child off to school it will be the last time to say goodbye? It is unbearable. So instead of griping, I am going to try to look at what is good in my life right at this very second and let go of the minor irritations:
- One day in late February or early March, the birds come. I don't know what kind of birds they are—small, black and white things that swarm my sycamore trees. They sit vertically, somehow, on the trunk, or hop from branch to branch. I don't know what draws them to those trees; you'd think the apple tree, with its few shrunken apples, would appeal more. But it is always, for a few morning hours in late winter, the sycamore trees. They are there this morning, right now outside my window, chirping their small, wild songs. Soon they will fly away to whatever their next stop is on their migration route. I love this morning and am grateful I got to be home for it.
- It snowed last night. When I walked to my car after work, it was falling in the calm, windless night. Enormous flakes. I love any kind of snowstorm, but that is my favorite: when there is no wind, so the flakes fall straight down, and if you stand still and look up all the vertical rush makes you dizzy. It's drizzling snow again as I write, a thin, nearly-rain sprinkle adding an almost-imperceptible layer to the snow from last night that's still on the grass and on the tree branches. The birds don't seem to care.
- My snow crocus are blooming right now. Seeing color again makes me untenably happy. Right now they are shut tight because of the snow and clouds, but as soon as the sun comes out they will open. Sometimes I think those little flowers are foolish for blooming so early. Usually though, I think they are brave, spreading color and the hint of coming spring into the cold.
- Hot beverages are helping a little. Accompanying my racking cough I have a killer sore throat. (The odd thing: it only hurts on the right side of my throat. Weird, yes?) Since Thursday I have lived on raspberry zinger tea with a bit of honey and a swirl of milk and on hot chocolate. (Obviously my no-sugar aspirations have been subsumed in the face of my stupid cold.) A recent favorite: McDonald's caramel hot chocolate. I've also been known to make Kendell stop at the gas station for a piping-hot cup. It's the piping-hot part I like the best but I've never had an affection for gas-station hot chocolate until now.
- Thanks to my friendly copy store, I can finish a project I should have finished last week. In fact, I need to do that now. Which means I'll be using stamps and a few scraps of patterned paper and maybe some ribbon, and while I know it's strange, those things all make me happy.
What is good about your moment right now?