Pretend it’s last week, please?
I sat down to write on Saturday afternoon. Your last chance to blog this week! a little voice inside my head reminded me.
And so I sat and typed and thought and hoped for inspiration.
What to say?
A few ideas presented themselves, were considered, and, like troublesome schoolchildren, were dismissed.
All except one–a little tyke who presented himself when I re-read a draft post I never published.
And so, my friends, at the beginning of this week (which is really last week, remember, so we can pretend I didn’t miss a week of blogging), I’m inviting you to join me on a ramble. Not an out-in-the woods ramble (although, with the leaves just turning yellow and orange, and if the sky were blue and the sun shining like it was when I began writing on Saturday, the idea would have some appeal), but a ramble, a listing, of lovely things.
Of things to give thanks for, of words that have touched me, of snatches of beauty.
Disclaimer: I’m not always a seeker of loveliness, a giver of thanks. Ahem. Far from it. I don’t tend to see potential more easily than problems or express gratitude more often than complaint. These things aren’t natural for me (although they will, I hope, one day come more naturally than they do now). And so, as I sit and think of good, true, and beautiful things that have come my way recently, maybe it will help to give me a slightly more open, a slightly more practiced, eye. And if these lovely things gladden you a little too, why, that’s even better. Because, really, who is in serious danger of thinking of good things too much?
Loveliness is in the written word.
In Wendell Berry’s novel Hannah Coulter. My first time to fall into a Berry novel. Truly a lovely place to fall. A place of family and community, a place of kindness that sustains during sorrow, a place where even in sorrow there is gratitude. A gentle, undramatic, lovely story. “This is my story,” says Hannah, “my giving of thanks.” I haven’t got that far through yet. I imagine I’ll share more when I’m finished. But the joy of sitting propped in bed reading a good book–ah!
Loveliness is in the spoken word,
In talks from the Desiring God National Conference, about C S Lewis (oh joy)–learning about him, and, more importantly, from him. If you only listen to one talk, listen to Joe Rigney’s Live Like a Narnian. A favourite for SJ and for me. (Here’s what a man–A King-Lune-like man!–should be: “First in, last out, laughing loudest.”)
Lovely things are flesh-and-blood things too!
The two-year-old with eager voice trying to tell me something that I confess was almost totally unintelligible to me, but delightful to hear all the same!
Chats with my sister-in-law.
Cuddles with younger brothers.
Music while I work. O Mio Babbino Carro. Moonlight Sonata. Nathan Clark George.
Baking with my youngest brother. Banana bread. (His favourite baking jobs appear to be cracking eggs and unpeeling bananas….) Chocolate and pear pudding.
Eating the aforementioned chocolate and pear pudding. Rich and warm and good.
The quiet of early morning.
And so much more….
Beauty. Lovely things. Sometimes, in the words of that red-headed Anne, “simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” (Thanks Emily for reminding me of that quote!) Sometimes, more dramatic.
Yes, there is ugliness and sin and sadness in my life and in the world at large.
But we should fight these things rather than soak them in.
We should soak in what’s lovely.