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.