There are times in your life that seem like a gift, stolen moments
when everything fades into the background and you are able to enjoy
what you love most. For me that means baking or immersing myself in a
book. I love how lost I can get in these activities, as if nothing
else matters except for what’s right in front of me. Proof that there
is a sort of magic in this world.
Saturday, after work, I had a half an hour to myself before I had to
pick up T from a friend’s and then head home to power-pack for his
vacation. I took a book I was borrowing out to the benches and put my
feet up, keeping my ice-cold Vernor’s soda within reach. No sooner had
I turned the first page, then plop. And then plop again. My mouth
dropped open, leaving me with a look of incredulity on my face as the
realization hit that the birds in the trees had just ruined this brand
new book that wasn’t even mine. What could I do, but laugh.
Which is exactly what T did when I told him my tale of woe on the way
home. He reminded me of the time we had come out of the theater from
seeing “Gone with the Wind.” Our car, it seems, had been the
receptacle for some huge Avian Defecation Project or something. It was
covered from windshield to back bumper. Yet the cars on either side of
us were each clean and untouched. It was a little strange and surreal
then when we discovered the mess, but it’s a funny family story now.
Those family stories are so unique and individual, often becoming more
elaborate and detailed each time they are told. But if you peel back
the onionlike layers to the very, very center you will most likely
find an unfortunate incident. An accident that got wrapped in the
retellings like sheets of sweet cotton candy layered around it until
they resemble some sort of present. These tales are oftentimes the
greatest treasures, pearlish in their inception. Without that
irritation you wouldn’t have something beautiful to behold.
I guess what makes those stories special is our ability to laugh when
we fall, to pick ourselves up and keep going, to smile when we’d
really rather sit and cry. When we make an effort to heed the warnings
of countless coffee mugs and refrigerator magnets: “Don’t let the
turkeys get you down.”
When the repair guys kept pounding and hammering away at the Library
making it impossible to concentrate, then the pumpkin chocolate chip
muffins magically appeared from a thoughtful baker. Smile.
When we dropped T off at the bus stop to begin his London adventure, M
and I walked in the rain. We shared an umbrella, then sat in a booth
and enjoyed a lunch for two. Smile.
Coming home from a long day at work, taking my new-to-me but
older-than-me bike (circa 1968) for a spin. I love the click click
click of the gears and the way the wind blows my hair back. Smile.
Waking up early, the birds (oh those pesky, pesky birds) rousting me
before the sun arises; only to discover it is the 19th anniversary of
meeting my sweetie. That chance encounter that led to everything else.
Thinking about this post this week has put that Lyle Lovett song in
my head, the one he wrote for “Toy Story.” It’s been a constant
companion, distracting me, keeping me from moping and missing my boy.
Cause T’s off doing his own thing and me, well, I’m here doing mine.
When he finally arrives back in the States, we will pick him up and
drive like mad to get him to circus camp, where the next adventure
(being a counselor) awaits. If we’re lucky there will be stories. I
wish him to be overflowing like a fountain with tales that can’t be
contained. And M and I will be in the front seat listening, smiling
big all the while.