Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gift wrap

There is a lot going on everywhere. So much so that I barely watch the news anymore. I get updates from CNN on what's going on with General Motors or Chrysler; I have some vague sense of the stock market and have been pleasantly surprised at some of the rebound; and I hear a few minutes of prognosticators on the radio with my short drives around GR. I find the nightly news - all the channels - too serious and melodramatic for me. I wonder how much of this current situation has been fueled by the incessant babbling of the talking heads. Or not.
Knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do about any of this, I have quit watching. I have replaced TV with reality. I take extreme delight in the family of hawks who live in the pine trees behind our home. I relish dinners at home with great friends. I make time for peaceful walks in the Ecosystem Preserve at Calvin. I buy flowers at the store to bring a little beauty and nature in to the house - even though I am perhaps the second most allergic person in the world, edged out slightly by Paul. And I take my camera everywhere. Every single place I possibly can.

Mostly, I love to watch Mr. Handsome. I love to watch him watch us in the kitchen, waiting for gravity to work in his favor. I love to watch him watch Paul cutting the grass. I love his fixed gaze on the backyard, high alert, small jerks as he follows dancing leaves, small birds or hoppy things traipsing across his yard. (For the record, anything small and furry is a hoppy thing - we can't even spell them anymore as he has that figured out. Paul and I have reverted to speaking French in the house when referring to anything outdoors. Best we can tell he hasn't picked up a second language yet).

The gift is in the moment, the present, the here and now. I can't do anything about the losers, cheaters, criminals and con artists. And frankly, I don't see many people with clean hands and clear consciences on Wall Street, on Pennsylvania Avenue - either party - and even Main Street. But I can't change things except vote and that is a few years off. Rather than dwell on the disappointment of turmoil, I seek out different ways to engage my mind and fill my heart. I decide what is important - I will enjoy this time, this beauty, these gifts, all wrapped up in the moment for us to take in. So take it in, I will. As Dave Barry wrote, "Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance."
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