Delights: January 1 to January 7

January 1:  2020. Twenty-twenty. May I see clearly where I’ve been and where I’m going. As Mary Oliver said, “It was early/which has always been my hour/to begin looking/at the world . . ./So many gifts! . . . /Sometimes I need/only to stand/wherever I am/to be blessed.”

January 2 : A few years ago I entered a sauna to find a woman lying on the top bench with her legs up the wall. My mind was startled but my body just smiled. Today at the end of yoga class, I briefly recreated that shape. Immediately I felt a sandbag of tiny hips spilling across my pelvis and telling my own not-so-tiny hips to just let go.

January 3: Kathy invited me to an art show here in Falls Church featuring the splendid pastel work of a college classmate. With my children long gone from the public schools, I’d forgotten how many people I cherish here in town. While Kathy raised a glass with her classmates, I lit up like a pinball bumper each time I saw a familiar face (or in the case of their grown sons, a marvelously changed one). How much fun school had been — for us grownups.

Kasia and her friend Kelsey at beautiful Hillwood.

January 4: I’m going back to college! (Maybe.) On top of all the other wonderful things that befell me when I turned 60 (this blog, for instance), I’ve just learned that I — and perhaps you, dear Virginia reader — can audit classes at Virginia Tech and a handful of other Virginia state schools for free. Sure, I actually need to be admitted to the college. But literature, philosophy, writing, art appreciation, beer appreciation (is there a class for such things?) — here I come.  Ooh, ooh, professor, call on me!

January 5: Sixteen-bean soup simmered on the stove, the Sunday Times lay scattered and read across the table, and a shaft of warm sun illuminated my comfy blue couch. For all the beauties of nature, sometimes an afternoon nap is the best delight of all.

Hillwood’s gardens are beautiful even on a gray January day.

January 6: Sixteen days ago, I acknowledged the winter solstice as our morning and evening darkness reached its zenith. Sixteen days before that, I mourned as I watched the daylight rapidly slipping away. Too short, too short, I declared the day. Today, with the same hours of daylight I rued 32 days ago, I rejoice that the morning light is so beautiful and that the sunset arrives later. Perspective changes everything.

Morning on Four Mile Run.

January 7: The same email pinged on everyone’s phones during our meeting: with snow on the horizon, the Office of Personnel Management told us to leave the office and resume work activities at home. So, laden with laptop and piles of papers, I travelled from my desk to the packed Metro to the rain-pelted street. Home at last, tea kettle on and laptop fired up, I gaze now out my window: the school bus (and the sudden cotton-ball snow) announce themselves by the songs of the children. All ages, they dance in front of my window with coats unzipped, arms flung wide and tongues reaching snow-ward. My kettle finally calls me away. And the children’s umbrella-huddled parents apparently summoned them, for when I look out my window again, I see only cotton-ball snow and traces of joy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close