The Little Things

Looking back on my childhood I can't remember any details about our trips to Disneyland and other "big" events. I mostly remember them from pictures I've seen in old photo albums. What I do remember is riding my horse through the forest and fields, sitting in the hayloft reading with my kitty in my lap. I remember the time before my mom got really sick when she took me to a nearby river and we sat on the rocks and talked.

I remember laying in the grass under sprinklers at Grandma Grace's house, and speeding along dirt tracks on my motorcycle.

Today, as we were stacking heavy pallets, building fences, burning a massive burn pile, felling a 40 foot tree, cleaning out the barn, playing with our dogs and ponies, I realized I was as happy as I've ever been. The days that we spend outside working together are some of my best and most dear memories.

We ate lunch in the shade of the barn, on Adirondack chairs. Our youngest pony picked up a bottle of green tea and lifted it into the air like she was drinking and it was so cute. I wish I'd had my camera. The cats were twining between our legs while the dogs panted at our feet, and we talked and laughed and life was as good as it gets. :)

It's not the first time I've realized that life is made up of small moments, the day-to-day stuff that we all too often forget to savor in the moment. I remember when my grandpa died. He was 91 years old and his mind had gone back to the past, to camping trips when his children were little, then farther back to his boyhood, working in the forest with his father and brother. I loved hearing those stories. He smiled and laughed as his eyes were clouded by pain and the effects of morphine. He squeezed my hand in his, blue veined with skin paper-thin, and he called me by my mother's name and told me how proud he was of me - of her.

One day, when I look back on these days of my "prime," I know that I'll remember the small moments of our day-to-day lives and I don't want to let them pass without realizing in the moment how blessed I am.

I hope that you realize the beauty in your small moments, too, that you don't spend your days looking to the future - to this big trip or that big moment. I hope you value the here and now.

At this very moment, I'm cozy in our family room with my hubby and kids who are watching a movie that doesn't hold my interest but I love simply being with them, the sound of their laughter and exclamations as they follow the story. And I'm thankful that they're here with me. Life is good.

©Just Kate, April 2010

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What about you? I'd love to hear some of your favorite small moments, the things that make you happiest, small and big.

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    About Me

    I love laughter, wickedness, fearlessness, irreverence, and kindness. I love road trips where I can prop my bare feet up on the dashboard. I love the feel of sunshine warm against my bare skin, the smell of the mountains and the roar of the ocean. I love to read. I love to challenge conventional thinking. I'm a huge fan of spirituality but have little tolerance for religion. I love to talk faith and philosophy. I love children. I get bored far too easily. I love debate and people who don't try too hard. I love it when people aren't afraid to disagree with me and know why they believe what they believe.

    Music

    Things that sound like music to me: rain on a tin roof, the trill of birds first thing in the morning, the coo and gurgle of happy babies, the beat of African drums, the roar of the ocean as the tide ebbs and flows, the sound of a rushing river, unrestrained laughter, the wind moving through leaves, the tick-tock of my grandma's old clock, the crash of thunder, a quiet whisper in my ear, the contented purr of a cat, the musical ting ting of wind chimes, children laughing, the sizzle sizzle sound of something yummy cooking, and the rustle of dry leaves under my feet.

    I also enjoy many musicians and bands including: Ray LaMontagne, Jason Mraz, The Black Eyed Peas, John Mayer, James Carrington, CCR, REM. My favorite genre is acoustic folk/rock.

    Favorite Quotes

    "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." —Aristotle

    "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering." - Ben Okri

    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do."—John Ruskin