Posted by: scintillatingspeck | September 24, 2013

Right now.

I’m focusing on now, right now, letting this moment fill me with delight.  I’m at Amherst Coffee, sitting at a long table with people I don’t know; they are absorbed in their laptops, notebooks, and croissants, and I feel bonds of kinship with them.  There is a man with a journal and a fountain pen and just for those things I love him and he doesn’t even know it.  A young woman looked up from her laptop and stared into space, and for a few seconds our eyes met, and we shared a brief smile, and just for that I love her.   An old woman in a bike helmet is sitting next to me, clutching her elbow, sipping her coffee thoughtfully; she paused to greet me and meet my eyes as well, her face briefly alight with human connection, and for that I love her.

Earlier I was walking briskly through the center of Amherst and stopped to nibble some kousa dogwood fruits, loving the autumn air and the leaves changing color, thinking of how beautiful this valley is, how every time I cross the Coolidge Bridge between Northampton and Hadley and I look across at the Connecticut River and the Holyoke Range in the glorious sunshine, it makes my heart sing.

Lily is at her weekly homeschool class at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, and I am filled with gratitude that we had such a smooth morning, that we didn’t have to rush, that she was so happy to get dressed and ready, that she loaded her “homework” into her backpack (a story about a water droplet named Wally, an illustration of the water cycle, and pictures she drew of how she uses water at home, including drinking it, washing her hands, bathing in it, swimming in it, and ducks in a pond, the latter which we don’t have at home but that’s okay), that she is so excitedly engaged, that my parents were willing and able to help pay for this class, and that I now have a good chunk of time to myself.

And always, always, I’m reminded of basic joys like the fact that I have and eat such amazing food; there are no bombs falling on my head; I’m not in physical pain; there is so much love that I give and receive; and I’m alive.

I’m ready to focus on organizing my thoughts.  It’s time.  I can do this.  I will bestow silent blessings and a kind gaze on my fellow cafe denizens, and head to the library, where I will think about the whole scope of my life and work, one step after another.  Years ago, my sister-in-spirit Carolyn gave me a book by Anne Lamott, “Bird by Bird.”  In it, Anne tells the story of her brother (I think?) as a child, suffering through writing a book report or something, about birds, feeling overwhelmed and stymied, and their father giving some sage advice, about taking it bird by bird, one bird after another.  The image has stayed with me, as has enduring love and friendship.

It’s the only way, loves.  Bird by bird, moment by moment, word by word, stumbling, walking, running, flying, sleeping, springing up again.

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