“And this our life…Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.”
(William Shakespeare, As You Like It, II, I)
My college sons think it’s noteworthy that I like the song “Kick Drum Heart” by the Avett Brothers, but I do, and that song inspired my blog title today. Sometimes I have a Kick Tail Life, and that can slice two ways. So, here is a glimpse, and I’ll let you decide.
I have a cold, so my daughter gave me her recipe for Fever-Fightin’, Cold-Killin’/Stompin’ Bath. Since I couldn’t find paper, I jotted it down here:
…and tossed it onto this desk:
…near this floor:
…where I’m unsuccessfully trying to get my life together before I have to file a second extension on my income taxes.
Not too long ago, this was what my kitchen looked like:
…and on my walk, I didn’t see this coming:
…so that I unknowingly immersed my entire, well-tennis-shoe’d foot almost all the way to the ankle, which (by the way) caused someone behind me to come out of their yard and stand squinting, hands on hips, to see what all the commotion was about.
On the other hand, on my walk, I saw this oleander bush smile from the thorns, discarded behind someone’s fence:
And passed this field of dandelions, which some would call weeds, and I would call beautiful:
I also smelled this honeysuckle, almost liquid in the air:
…saw these bees, busy at work on this magnolia blossom:
…and studied this stack of scriptures, which helped me live my day better:
Of course, I have only listed trivial happenings. I’ve had bigger. I could make you thrill and weep, but not today.
Isn’t life like that? We all have ups and downs. And to make matters worse, most of us had a poor start in life, as Unit 3 of this book explains. The book’s author goes on to say that we each have a different set of realities to accept when we wake up each day, and if we’re ever going to be content, it will have to be within those realities. I don’t necessarily like those words, but they helped me again this very day, and I do think he’s right.
We’re all in this life predicament together. I find that comforting. We’re a humanity family, and we can find things to be grateful for, can’t we? I think we can. We can focus on the ups, and we can remember that it could always be worse.
A friend and I are practicing being grateful. It’s not too hard, when I think about it. For me, the real story is not about life’s comedies or tragedies, but about a strange Beauty-from-Ashes that I can’t explain, life pulled out of the muck wallow where I insisted on living. It’s about life transformed invisibly, in whispers. It’s about everything beautiful in its time. It’s about a secret treasure, shimmering in my deepest places, thanks to a Man from Galilee. But I’m getting too deep, now.
For me, the real story is also on a list I keep, of the things that I’m thankful for.
Here are the latest additions:
#403 – Forgotten oleander bushes.
#404 – My dilapidated, taped-together camera.
#405 – Well-attended wedding barbecues.
#406 – Honeysuckle perfume in the air.
#407 – Our sun-swept patio, complete with cracks and leftovers of the garage floor it used to be.
#408 – A tiny, blind poodle that we never really wanted.
$409 – Potholes filled with muddy water. They enrich my life experience.