For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind…
Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
~ Kahlil Gibran
I’m reading the book Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult. The story takes place in Paradise, Pennsylvania, a small town in Lancaster County known for its Amish population. In the book the Amish characters frequently use the word wonderful in front of good or bad, as in “Today was wonderful good!” (Or in the half English, half Dietsch dialect, wonderful-gut.) M is from Lancaster County and I’d heard the term before, but reading it so often has it sticking in my head and attaching itself to my speech and writing.
It truly was a wonderful-gut weekend. We didn’t wander far or do too many things, but we didn’t need to since everything we needed for a wonderful good weekend was here. Good friends, good music, good food, good weather (albeit a bit hot), and good times.
We walked, we talked, we sat on the dock, we drank a few beers, we ate seafood and vegetables and all manner of wonderful good foods. We laughed (a lot!), we reminisced, we got caught up, we had long, comfortable stretches of silence. We splashed and swam in the pool. We helped each other with cooking and clean-ups.
Last night, after our friends had left, M and I sat on the deck for a little while, sweating and listening to the night sounds while looking up at the bazillion stars in the sky. We could see an arm of the Milky Way stretched out overhead. There were a few fireflies zipping around near the woods. I normally won’t sit outside on such a hot and humid night, but we had been reminiscing about childhood vacations at the beach, no air conditioning back in the good old days, and sleeping porches.
Memories from a trip we took early in our marriage came up, too. We’d gone somewhere in Michigan along the lake (Lake Michigan). It was a huge house, belonging to the aunt of a friend and located in the middle of nowhere. M and I stayed up a good part of the night watching the stars from the beach, feeling small and large at the same time. Small compared to space and all the stars in the night sky. Large because we were part of this whole wonderful good universe.
The house in Michigan, a vacation house, had all kinds of sleeping nooks and crannies, including a big swing on the porch that was a double bed. It was a wooden frame hanging from the ceiling on chains with a feather mattress inside. I’d never seen anything like it before (or since). Anyhow. The point to this story is that after we watched a movie last night (“Seven Psychopaths”), I got to wondering what my younger self might do on such a night, in such a beautiful place, and came to the conclusion that my younger self would have ignored the heat and humidity, and gone outside to watch the stars and listen to the songs of the cicadas and the crickets. My younger self would not have been taking this place, all this wonderful good beauty, for granted like my older self does.
During a recent conversation with my father, he told a story of something that had happened during his childhood, and afterwards wondered aloud why it was so easy to recall the bad things that happen in life. I later followed that thought, and wondered why it is some people get stuck in the good things that happen in life, wandering into “the good old days” or “the glory days” and thinking that the best days of their lives have been lived already and now they just plod on towards death never realizing that each and every day has the potential to be “the best day.”
Today my thoughts have veered towards assimilating the past. I think that’s what I might have been doing last night when I wondered what my younger self would do on a starlit hot and humid night in the country. I brought my younger self into my current self, and it was a wonderful good blending of the past with the now.
Thank you for visiting today, and rambling along with me through sunsets and splash downs in the pool and walks in the heat. Last time I checked, which was around noon, it was 105°F in the shade here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. The next few days are predicted to be the same. Hot and humid. I’m thinking of going to the beach tomorrow. The tourists will have gone home, and since it’s a weekday, there probably won’t be too many people there. It will be a wonderful good way to escape the heat.
I hope you had a delightful and wonderful good weekend, and that your Monday has had its share of wonderful good moments, too.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: Shade, the pool, iced drinks, air conditioning and all the other ways we have of cooling off on wonderful hot days; Kathy’s post about following your feet; Karma’s summer toes; Dawn’s relaxing weekend; Colleen’s what works best; and Gunta’s changes.