July 31: Three little girls, three moms. The first on the Metro: braids bouncing and body wiggling joyfully, the little girl couldn’t wait to get to Nats Park for the ballgame, her mom eager too. The second: in the shade of a small front yard tree, a mom sat talking with her little girl, bike tossed on the driveway, knees drawn up under her dress, bike helmet still planted on her head, all smiles. The third: when a popular secretary in our office introduced me to her daughter, I told the little girl, “I probably love your mom more than you do.” Her mom chuckled agreement, but the girl looked up at her mother lovingly.
August 1: At work today, we found a big sheet of paper adorned with flowers and hearts and stars. It read: “Dear team — Thank you for all the work you do. We are so lucky to have you as part of our office.” It was signed, “The Office Thank You Squad.” And they delivered a dozen donuts. We don’t know the identity of the Thank You Squad, but we still feel the surprise and delight. Tiny, loving choices matter so much.
August 2: My walk to the metro: soft early morning sunshine on my face, the scent of boxwood, and an enormous lumber truck making an elegant three-point turn at a small quiet intersection.
August 3: Suited up and ready, I arrived at the pool to discover my aqua fitness class canceled. So I grabbed my goggles and swam (some) laps. Eventually I started a cool down routine. But instead of striding through the water’s resistance, I found myself walking with exquisite slowness. With each delicate peaceful step, my heart and my mind calmed. Prayers came easily. Truly a walking meditation. (Maybe this will finally launch my lap-swimming workout.)
August 4: I stilled, body and soul, as I walked beneath the trees of the Bon Secours Retreat Center, where today I begin my six-night silent retreat. Energy nearly swept me away, though, when my former yoga teacher, Susan, called my name. She, too, is on retreat, inspired by my experience last year. I WILL NOT TALK. I WILL NOT TALK. Oh, how I long to talk. But we have shared so much through hundreds of silent sun salutations. This week we will simply love each other with smiles and hugs and prayers.
August 5: The shiny chafing dish held a solitary French toast triangle. And a poppy field of berries scattered about and beckoning me. I lingered, saluted their cheery grace, and then meticulously plucked each one to make a bouquet on my own plate. I’ll gladly savor the joy others leave for me.
August 6: Sitting here in the shade looking out over the great quiet trees, I close my eyes and allow the breeze to stroke my skin and the dappled sunshine to rub my shoulders. I open my eyes to see the locust leaves giggle as the breeze caresses them.