I’ve given up on my summer list. In any official, keeping track sort of way. Which is not surprising in the least–I love making lists like this, but tend to get bogged down, not so much in the doing (though that sometimes too) but in the recording of progress. I was going strong on this summer wish list, but then was overwhelmed with a week full of emotion that left little time for anything aside from on the one hand worrying/crying/feeling utterly helpless and on the other hand throwing myself completely into homeschool work to distract myself. It’s not that anything was wrong in my own personal life, but two of the people I love most in this entire world, two of my chosen family, had probably the most emotionally draining weeks of their lives. For very different reasons and in very different ways. And I felt so very powerless to help. And as much as that feeling sucks, as much as it ate away at me for days, it was nothing compared to what my two friends were/are experiencing in their lives.
It is a completely nonsensical response to purposefully avoid the good things in life because of the bad things. I’m not saying that it’s stupid of me to take the time to try to deal with all these feelings of heartache I have for two of the people I cherish most in my life. But that it is foolish to avoid happiness because of sorrow. They really can coexist. It in no way means that I don’t love my friends, don’t hurt for my friends, don’t want to help my friends in any way possible if go sit outside and watch the fireflies while sipping a frozen margarita. Perhaps I shall do just that this evening. And maybe this coming weekend will be a good time to spend a few hours reading in a blanket fort in the yard. My heart continues to ache, my mind continues to reel. But is it ever a bad time to be grateful for the good things?
It’s been a while since I’ve made myself a “good stuff” list. As counterintuitive as it may feel, I think that maybe it’s just what I need. So for the next couple days, I’m just going to leave this tab open and record the things that make me smile, make me feel hopeful, remind me of the exquisite beauty in this world.
*Rhubarb. We’d never tried growing rhubarb before we moved to this house, and I’m sure we never would have if this spectacular plant hadn’t already been here. My grandma always grew rhubarb when I was a kid, but for some reason, my mom never did…so it just wasn’t much on my radar. But oh my, this plant. This glorious plant just keeps giving in abundance year after year. I’ve lost count of how many tarts I’ve made this season. I’ve thus far frozen 7 pints for this winter. And today I am making my second batch of rhubarb jam. Nature giving in abundance. And I am grateful for its gifts.
*I just finished a book that touched my heart, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. (Thank you to Ana for getting me to buy this book and to Bina for reminding me that I really needed to read it.) It’s not unusual for a book to touch my heart, but it will always be one of those things that is special enough for me to be exceedingly grateful. So what is it about this book in particular? Well, you know how some people look down on kids’ lit–this is one of those books I’d like to strongly recommend they read. Because I don’t know that I’ve ever met a book that did a better job at showing the validity of multiple truths. And while that may be my favorite thing about this book, it is by no means the only thing. I adored the relationship between Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern. While I never had a sister of my own, their relationship just felt so authentic. And I loved to pieces the way we very slowly got to know Cecile/Nzila better, at pretty much the pace that Delphine herself got to know her mother. I know, I know, I know…I’m such a crier…I could probably have filled the Great Salt Lake with the number of tears I’ve shed reading books (okay, so that’s a slight exaggeration)…and the last few pages of this book, yep, tears. The very best kind, which I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that they’re born of an amazing mixture of emotions. This is as huggable a book as ever there was. (This makes book 9 for #20booksofsummer.)
*We finally put up an outdoor clothesline! It was one of the few things I missed from our old house. But it wasn’t an enormous priority (there are sooooo many things that have needed/still need done around here), as we have a super awesome clothesline system in the basement so I’ve been able to hang the laundry there. But oh my gosh, hanging clothes outside for the first time in four years…so smile-worthy.
*The riot of daisies in our flower garden right now! This picture just doesn’t come close to doing it justice–there are just hundreds and hundreds of daisies blooming right now. And I cannot help but smile every time I go out front.
*Going to be and reading for a bit (the sequel to One Crazy Summer!) before turning out the light, then watching the fireflies and listening to all the insects singing as I drifted off to sleep.
—-Okay, the thing about starting this draft and not posting it promptly the same day is that there’s just been sooooooo much good stuff. I couldn’t possibly list it all here. But some of it will get it’s own posts soon. The two friends whom I continue to hurt for, well, it won’t be long until they’re both here. I’ll be hugging them in person instead of virtually.