Delights: March 11 to March 18

March 11: While watching TV with Kevin, I noticed an actor’s first name: “Chosen.” New to me, that name settled my bones into serene gratitude. And I immediately thought of others: “Grace” and “Joy” and “Charity” and “Beloved.” Nate’s name, Nathaniel, means “Gift of God.” Jeremiah’s name refers to God’s loving covenant with God’s people. Call me Carol Ann, but also know me as “grace” and “joy” and “charity” and “beloved.”

March 12: I finally joined a book club. I’ve resisted: I have a huge pile of unread books, never enough reading time, and very clear opinions about what I will read. (Obnoxious, huh?)  And in three months, I’ve read three fantastic nonfiction books I’d never have read otherwise, each enriched by great discussion. I’m learning to fling my arms wide despite myself.

March 13: The starling was close enough to my window that I could see her chew and swallow. She wandered up and down the tiny hillocks of my lawn, thrusting her beak every few seconds into the roots of the moist grass. I hope she comes back for lunch.

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Beautiful incidental art at our Cabo retreat center.

March 14: As I sat in the sunshine on my front patio, two little girls called out, “Can we use your swings?” I had seen them walking together from up the street, skinny, long-haired, light blue and purple, maybe sisters. “Sure!” I heard their sing-song voices for a while, and they eventually waved goodbye. Then one dashed across the street and scrambled up the curbside pedestal of a low stone driveway wall. “I’m king of the world,” she proclaimed. But the east end of the horseshoe driveway had just one pedestal, so she jumped down and ran with her friend to the west end of the horseshoe where two ends stood high. Each jumped up, declaimed, and jumped down again. Onward. “Hi, Chelsea,” they called to our teenage neighbor and stopped to hug Chelsea’s dog. Up the street they went again, their voices eventually lost among the songs of the birds. They reminded me that our street — a big loop — could take two little girls all afternoon if you did it right. 

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I kid you not. An hour later I saw them again in the park several streets away, still walking, still chatting. Two little girls: Queens of the World.

March 15: Pink. A nice walk with Kathy revealed blooming bits and bobs — and the twiggy tips of tender trees, which I’ve come to cherish this spring. On my ride home, I also had the serendipitous pleasure of watching an old-time car, all curved chassis and low fenders, roll its pale pink body under the pale pink spray of a tulip magnolia. My camera couldn’t grab this delight, but my mind won’t forget it.

March 16: Last week, I hustled into Arlington Central Library at closing time, desperate for a very particular book. Fortunately, I found it. Unfortunately, my library card had expired. Fortunately, I could get a new one. Unfortunately, I had no photo ID and couldn’t finesse an exception. Fortunately (very fortunately) the fourth person I asked agreed to check out the book for me on his card. Tonight, I returned the book and got my own card. The librarian remembered me; more importantly, she remembered the kindness of that young man.

March 17: My office window, overlooking the front yard, has become the four corners of my new world. I see families going for walks — like the traditional Thanksgiving airings, but every single day. I see a cluster of daffodils I planted two years ago. And I see sparrows and cardinals darting in and out of a massive dense bush that improbably perches on our curb. Large enough to hide a small car, it’s also large enough (apparently) to host several families of birds. It is lumpy, large and I’m growing very fond of it.

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Sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

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