Before the car accident, I was busy leading the big projects, travelling here and there. Running 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 see one’s surroundings with new and grateful eyes.
To take joy in the small moments.
To be open to small patches of everyday glory.
Snow on evergreens. The first snow 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. He has tons of single socks and we spend time searching for their matches.I used to get irritated by this. Or by newspapers strewn across the breakfast table. (Or his overlooking my small attempts to ‘cheer up’ our house.)
Now, I call them “signs of life”. And 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.)
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.
The old wool blanket. “Canadiana”, for sure, itwould be worth something, unstained. Do I care about the stain? No. I love this blanket for its brilliant stripes – and for having survived decades of use.
Blooming Amaryllis. Bought for 6 bucks, it re-blooms (big red blooms) on long stalks each winter. ‘Nuff said.
Our family’s big 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 brownish-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.
And keeping both eyes open for the 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.
Aggie asked me to publish blooms of peonies from my garden.
I promised I would.
Who is Aggie, you may ask?
Aggie and husband Lou runIsis Farms near Avery, Texas. They call what they do “beyond organic”.
“We want to grow and supply ‘real’ food, for ourselves, and as many people as possible. We think that good, whole food is a key to health.”
They describe themselves as stewards of their 30-acre land.
“As stewards of this land, we want to nurture a healthy ecosystem, maintaining the forest, reintroducing native grasses, and keeping the chemicals out.”
Aggie and Lou believe the planet cannot possibly sustain the average American’s lifestyle. So they are doing their part to reduce their impact on the earth.
“For example, we are planning for solar power, and rainwater collection and drip irrigation to minimize water usage. Our home is small, and we heat with wood, which creates no additional greenhouse gases, and is freely available in our forest. We purchase used items when practical.”
Aggie and Lou have been working very hard to realize their ideals. And they continue to do so, through what seems to be every single day. This kind of work and vision take commitment, but they seem to have it in spades.
So these blooms are a tribute to Aggie and Lou and Isis Farms.
And because Aggie asked to see them.
This post is dedicated to Aggie, Lou, and all who are doing something to “reduce their impact” on the earth.
*The second and third images above are by my wonderful photographer Hamlin Grange. (The rest are by that awful photo-taker who shall not be named.)