One late-autumn afternoon, after being stuck in bed for several days, I looked around at our bedroom and decided it needed colour.
Christmas was several weeks away, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t haul out the two Christmas-themed cushions I’d received as a gift a few years before. Red does wonders for a room.
I could hardly wait for my husband to see this cheerful scene.
He went to bed before me that night. The next morning, I asked eagerly: “What did you think of the way I decorated our bedroom?”
“Decorated?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
He stared at me, puzzled.
“Didn’t you notice anything different?”
“Oh!” he said. “You mean… all those pillows and stuff?”
“I didn’t really look at them,” he said.
There, in a corner of the floor were the red and white cushion and the two pillows in their lace-edged shams. They looked forlorn. I groaned.
“Oops – I screwed up, didn’t I?”
“It was so pretty,” I said in a whiny voice.
But when I met his eyes, he looked contrite, like a small boy in trouble. Next thing I knew, we were both laughing.
Laughing over this foolishness was a little thing – an unremarkable thing. Unless you’ve learned to cherish the small moments of life.
Before the car accident, I was busy leading the big projects, travelling here and there. Rushing around, trying to change the world, can make a person miss the beauty of “ordinary” things.
Injuries and pain are indescribably worse. You finally have time to see, but barely have the energy to look.
But – oh – it’s worth the effort to look! To take joy in the small moments, to see one’s surroundings with new and grateful eyes. To be open to small patches of everyday glory.
Snow on cedars. Fresh snow on the cedar and spruce trees makes the garden beautiful, day and night.
The late sun. Late afternoon sunlight shining on wood floors is magical. And when the late sun hits the wavy glass sidelights in the front door of our old farmhouse, it’s wondrous.
My husband’s truant socks. I find them in the weirdest places, including the floor. I used to get irritated by this and other things, like his leaving the newspapers strewn across the breakfast table. (Or overlooking my small attempts to ‘cheer up’ our house.) Now when I come across stray socks, I give thanks for having someone kind, funny and loving to share my everyday life with . (And I try to assemble the newspapers without muttering.)
The old wool blanket. “Canadiana”, for sure, it would be worth something but for the pale stain on one side. Do I care about the stain? No. I love this blanket for its brilliant stripes – and for having survived.
Blooming Amaryllis. Bought for 6 bucks, it re-blooms (big red blooms) on long stalks in February. ‘Nuff said.
Freshly washed sheets. There’s luxury in the smell and feel of freshly washed cotton sheets although they’ve been used and washed many times.
Our family’s big clay mixing bowl. Many apple pies have been mixed up in that beautiful old bowl.
My daughter’s dogs. Sometimes, just the sight of them gladdens my heart. One black, one white, they’re both tiny dogs with personalities of their own. As I write, they’re stretched out beside me, fast asleep.
Slowing down by choice is great. Being forced to do so is awful. But in the spirit of lighting a candle and finding my way out of darkness, I’ve been focusing on positives.
I’m keeping both eyes open for that everyday kind of glory.
This post is dedicated to the caring staff at the pain management centre of Toronto Rehabilitation Hospital. One of the techniques they teach their patients is mindfulness.
18 thoughts on “Everyday Glory”
Great read, mum.
I want that blanket!
I was going to say: you have to wrestle me for it.
Then I realized: you’d undoubtedly win!
Isn’t it lovely, for such an old blanket?
just thinking Ms CR, what if the accident didnt happen? are you telling me we wouldnt be enjoying these posts? I love em… you too!
“It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.”
I would not have been writing these posts at this time. Maybe about something else. But not these particular ones. I’m very glad you enjoy them.
Cynthia, Totally understand about throw pillows – I have a collection that I rotate around the house/seasonally/whenever the spirit moves. I even made some throw pillows from the my mother’s lovely old dresses – the skirts where more copious ‘in the old days’.
Must be lovely! and what a great idea. I like the idea of recycling. I dream of making a ‘counterpane’ quilt from such heirloom clothes/fabric. So far, it’s been a dream, only.
Hang on to your dreams … they just may come true!
“Small patches of everyday glory” Lovely! I really love Hamlin’s photo of the ‘snow cones on spruce’ and it is so funny to see your Hudson’s Bay blanket as I was just chatting on the phone with my mom about how Mark and I inherited some of those old made-in-Canada flannel sheets (you know the white ones with the pink or blue stripes on top?) and how much we love them. It takes work and effort to see the beauty around when you’re body is in pain which somehow does make it all the more precious. It is making me think of what Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his new book “David and Goliath”: the advantages in the disadvantages. You are in good company! xxxooo
Jacqui, you are one of my heroes because you always see the bright side of things. You see the gloomy side too, but you don’t let it prevail. I’ve had to re-learn that in these recent years.
Aren’t those old blankets great? Yes, I know the old flannel sheets. Just the fact that they were well cared, and endured – something to be said for that, yes?
N.B. I’ve been loving your blog.
Cynthia, I try to sit, think and pray for 5 simple things I am blessed with every day, I most often have no problem ,,, however, after 43 years with the man I love … dirty socks have NOT made that list. 🙂 Love to you both. Judi
Hahaha! Thanks, Judi.
Ironically, he’s good at putting away the dirty ones. No, the stray socks I’m talking about are the perfectly clean ones that somehow get dropped on the way from the laundry room, or end up folded into other items of clothing somewhere… until I come across them. But you know, even if they were dirty, they’d be what I call “signs of life” — a sign that I am fortunate enough to have someone to share my everyday life with. And that’s a real blessing.
Your husband sounds very like mine. 😉
He must be a terrific guy!
He is, kind, funny and he knows how to jolly me along when I’m down. See? Similar I reckon. 🙂
That’s terrific, all right!
🙂 I still get a real kick if I make him laugh with one of my jokes. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
Congrats on your books, your blogs, and most of all – your family. A blessing indeed.