Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Happy, Happy..."

Along our road.

When my one-year-old grandson Jayden enjoys something, however mundane and ordinary, he does a little dance and chants in sing-song, "Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy..." His cheerful enjoyment of the simplest things is an admirable trait, so I will follow suit and make a point to notice and exude "happy, happy, happiness" about simple, daily, easily overlooked things.

This time, some "happy, happy" things surrounding home:

The drive back home last week across our magnificent Cascade Mountain range. Snow falling gracefully into drifts around home. Branches laden with snow. The rhythm and work of scraping the wide shovel under snow and flinging it aside to create neat paths. Running through powdery, unshoveled snow in my warm snow boots. Winter air that feels its most icy-crisp and invigorating when the sky is that deep, unreal shade of blue. Falling asleep in a pile of warm blankets while frigid, fresh night air comes in through the slightly open window. Carrying wood to the back porch and building toasty-warm morning fires in the woodstove. Sitting in my favorite chair across from the woodstove with a steaming mug of early morning coffee. The heavenly aroma of a simple, long-simmering tomato sauce made from tomatoes I froze from last summer's harvest. The laughter and hugs and kisses of the two cutest, funniest, smartest, busiest, imaginative, most creative, interesting little boys anywhere. Two of my girls baking mini-fudge cakes together in the kitchen. And then eating the fudgiest, ooziest, most deliciously intense mini-fudge cakes imaginable. The Bangladeshi hospitality of Michelle's in-law's who warmly welcomed us into their home for a perfectly brewed cup of hot tea, delicious fresh-fried spring rolls with a Bangladeshi twist, and an afternoon of friendly conversation in their living room. The gradual creation of a pile or two or three of books-- collected from shelves and tables and everywhere-- to browse and read and explore and enjoy while I'm here (and gathering a few to take with me back to the coast). I've spent these days looking around and paying attention and realizing how very blessed I am. Every single day. Here or there or wherever I am.

And tomorrow, I'll say good-bye to Michelle and her family and drive across the mountains once again to take Melissa home to the valley and then travel across the coastal range back to Mom's house.

Just down the road from our house this late afternoon.

Almost home. I climbed to the summit of this mountain a year and a half ago.

Roman draws.

Jayden reads.