Delights: July 17 to July 23

July 17, 2019: A sunshiny girl tumbled out of her front door and ran toward Majka and me as we passed by. “Can I pet your dog?” She gazed up at me with bright eyes, sunflower hair and a seven year old’s smile. “I’ve lost five teeth!” Indeed, the gap below her top lip was momentous. “And I have two big teeth!” We showed each other our two bottom big teeth, and then she said, “I catch the bus at the big tree.” Indeed, my tree. Our bus stop. I should have recognized her immediately. She’s the child who says hi whenever she sees me. We’ve talked in all weather. How lucky for me, again, that Majka takes me where I want to be.

July 18, 2019: I surprised myself tonight by plunking down on a barstool at Audacious Aleworks, rather than taking a quiet table. With my family scattered like pool balls, I joined a guy named Ed, who sits in the same spot every Thursday night. Then another regular, Beth, stopped by to say hello. And Heather, working on her laptop three stools down, joined the conversation when it turned to Italy. My reading material languished in my bag as I sipped from the mug of conviviality. Cheers!

A bartenders “tools” also make beautiful art.

July 19, 2019: My delight today was a  superb watermelon salata, consisting of baby fennel, pickled grape tomatoes, watermelon rind, mint & basil oil and fresno chilies. (No, I won’t make that at home.) It competed only with the spectacular view of the Washington Channel marina and the warmth of my friend’s love.

Watermelon Salata, photographed and savored by my friend Aileen, at La Vie at the Wharf.

July 20, 2019: Fifth years ago today, my parents roused my sister and me, pajama clad, to watch as we — human beings — stood on the moon. Tonight, I popped on the Metro to join hundreds of thousands of human beings celebrating on the National Mall. The event, brilliantly conceived and executed by the Smithsonian, culminated with a video of the Saturn 5 rocket projected onto the darkened Washington Monument and launched into the skies above. So tall, so elegant, so breathtaking. Standing there in wonderment, I found myself praying for the three astronauts tucked high above the fire and thrust, and weeping to see again the grainy footage beamed from the moon. Our moon. That night, so long ago, did I run outside to stare at it, to see if I could see the astronauts working there? Certainly I did. And tonight, after the launch, I joined throngs in the National Air & Space Museum to touch the moon, a sliver of mineral and miracle and memory.

The Saturn V is projected on the Washington Monument, July 20, 2019, at the National Mall

July 21, 2019: Today I savored more love-sharing with people precious to me. I, who wants nothing more than her solitude and her books, was surprised yet again by the life-giving energy flowing so abundantly around me. Whether knee to knee over brunch or ear to ear on the phone, I gathered it in, joyfully.

July 22, 2019:  A hummingbird! I saw a hummingbird from my kitchen window! Taking sips from the trumpet blooms Jeremiah insisted we plant, our sparrow-brown hummingbird is so tiny and fearless. Is she as happy as I am watching her?

July 23, 2019: Charlie Brown’s friend Lucy once said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Well, I get it. Our little sleeping pill, Majka, curled up next to me in the wee hours of the morning. I was determined to rise early. But, ahhhhh, the delight of her soft comfort.

Jeremiah and Majka, in one of their calmer moments.

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