It’s A Beautiful Day

Days like this have a strange effect on me.  It’s beautiful: about sixty five degrees, bright, breezy.  The pretty little weeds that look like tiny flowers are all over the grass.  Birds are chirping loudly in the trees.  Weather like this, days like this, make me feel energized and uplifted.

photo credit: jennahsgarden.com/

photo credit: jennahsgarden.com

And yet they also make me feel nostalgic and strangely bitter-sweet.  The sights, the sounds, the feel and smell of the breeze drifting in my open window– are all like ghosts of my childhood, sneaking into the house of my mind through my five senses.  It’s subtle, because there’s not necessarily any one specific memory.  It’s more like a general and pervasive mood.  And it’s slightly depressing.

There’s some truth in the saying “You can’t go home again.”  I’ve thought about it before; in terms of my family, I can never go back to being that little girl that didn’t know that Uncle Jimmy* was an alcoholic or that Uncle Mark* used to beat Aunt Maggie up.  I can’t go back to being the little girl that picked violets in my grandmother’s huge backyard; that house was sold many, many years ago and my grandma died last May.

I’ll be 32 next month and sometimes I feel like my college and high school days were just yesterday.  Today I was outside watching my toddler run around in the grass.

It’s scary.  I blinked and got “old.”  What if I blink again and my daughter is grown up?  Blink once more and I’m old and about to die?  Maudlin thoughts like these remind me of my preteen days.  These thoughts are like a throwback to the confused kid I used to be, the one who stood looking out the window, with a vague feeling of seemingly no origin, a feeling of “something’s not right”– It was a time when my thoughts were often ruled by a nameless anxiety I didn’t understand.  I was preoccupied with the passage of time and how untenable it was.

And though I’m medicated and therefore better at being the master of my anxieties and fears, rather than the slave, it’s still something I think about.  And days like this seem to bring those feelings back in a very nonspecific, formless sport of way, almost more like an association than a complete thought.

But no amount of worrying or melancholy will change these things.  Time passes, things change, people grow old and die.  The best I can do is live every moment and live in the moment.  And today is a beautiful moment to live.

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Be Thankful: Finding Beauty in Your Surroundings

I live in a suburban town in KY.  A short drive will take you past a great many fields, some expansive, and most featuring dilapidated but somehow charmingly antiquated barns and farmhouses.   Tobacco fields in the summer.  Cows, horses, and deer.

And of course, there are trailers, and yards littered with children’s toys, one or many broken down and rusted out cars.   A great many of the yards are what you might typically expect of the hillbilly stereotype.

Despite the trashy look of some of the yards, there is much beauty to be seen in the farmers’ fields, shady wooded areas, creeks and rocks.  But when things become commonplace, when we are used to seeing them day in and day out, we forget how amazing some of the little things in our world are.

I admit to being dismayed when I drive through a beautiful area and a hulking industrial structure the nature of which I couldn’t even begin to guess mars the beautiful landscape.  I wish the skeletal looking scaffolds and dirty looking pipes would disappear, and I have to remind myself that it may be ugly, but it probably helps create a service or product most people including me use everyday, and is (or was, if it is no longer in use) a necessary evil, so to speak.

As I said before, I live in a sort of suburban area, still twenty or thirty miles from an actual “city,” but not quite in the middle of nowhere.  I live in an apartment complex, and my front door faces a shopping center.

But as I stood outside enjoying an ill-advised cigarette, I took a moment to enjoy the mild temperature, the look of the wet flora around the small patch of ground that constitutes my “yard.”

Last night I laid in bed thinking about how things are going in my life, and just being thankful.  I have a great husband and kid.  I get to stay at home with my child and write, and this blog, which I started a year ago, is garnering more views everyday.   Maybe it’s not the novel I wanted to have published, but it’s more than I had last year at this time.  My bills are paid up and I have a few bucks left over this week.  I’m looking into classes for something I’ve been thinking about for a while, something that would give me the skills to start the next chapter in my career life.

So I guess the point of this long-winded post is the cliche’d “appreciate the little things.”  Is it still a cliche’ if it’s true?

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