17 May 2008

Things I love

I’ve been enjoying Blue Girl’s posts about things she loves, inspired by one of her readers who compiled a 100-item-long list of things he hates.

Hating is easy. Loving is harder, but far more worthwhile.

Reading BG’s posts on this subject has gotten me thinking about the things I love, too. Sometimes I’m too busy, or too distracted to notice those little things, but they’re really what keeps me going each day. They make life worth the living, since if all we paid attention to was the negative stuff, there’d hardly be a point. It’s right to pay attention. To look for the positive. To be mindful.

Here are a few of the things I love:

1. I love the word “mindful.” I’ve never really looked at a dictionary definition of it, but the meaning is clear enough, taken in context. For me, to be “mindful” is to consciously slow down and really notice the world around me. Daily life can be hard-edged and shallow, a willy-nilly run from dawn to dark with not enough smiles and never enough hugs to go around. “Mindfulness,” however, when I remember to do it, releases my spirit and allows it to fly.

2. I love cooking homemade chicken soup for my family and friends when they catch colds. My mother came down with a whopper of a summer cold yesterday, and today she’s stuffy, headachy and has a nasty sore throat. So I have a small pot of soup bubbling on the stove for her right now. I know she won’t feel like cooking today. When it’s done, I’ll run it down the mountain, ladel it into a cup, and serve it up. The pot of chicken soup should last her a couple of days, by which time she’ll be over the worst of her cold and on the mend. My dear friend Magrit, a sweet German woman I met in Bremerhaven years and years ago, and who was 20 years older than I, used to tell me that cooking soup for others was “cooking love.” I used to smile at the idea, but today I believe it.

3. I love twisting the peppermill to crack black peppercorns onto salads, over grilled chicken and fish, or into soups. There’s something satisfying about the rumbling grind under my palm as I turn the mill and then, later, the delightful, sharp spice of the fresh cracked pepper in my mouth.

4. I love that short stretch of near-dark just as the sun is rising. It’s the time I wake most days, and the reason I do is that outside my open window the robins, who roost in a flock high up in our tall laurels, are “threeping” in a wild and joyous chorus. I know it’s silly to endow them with human qualities, but they sound just as if they’re shouting cheeful hellos at the rising sun, and they make me smile.

1. I love cat toes.

2. I love discovering new blogs. Today’s discovery, which I found in Brilliant Before Breakfast’s blogroll, is Harp and Sword. As I was reading it, I found this and fell in love. LOVE, I tell you.

Have a lovely -- and mindful -- weekend.


dorki said...

Cat toes and cat noses - wonderful. Especially the tuxedo cats. We have two sister cats, one is smallish the other is huge! They are such great company and educational. Being an only child, I learned a lot about sisters from them and my wife's siblings (grin).

(I must not think about the chocolate)

blue girl said...

Loving is harder, Wren. Good point.

And I also love a peppermill. The whole twisting thing and the sound it makes. I'll use way more pepper than usual when I'm some place that has one.

But, oddly, I don't have one! I always wanted to get one, but just never did. Maybe I'll treat myself to one this week.

Thanks for the link.

Kevin Wolf said...

I'm not much of a "cat person" but the pic made me laugh. I'm enough of an animal person to know just what you mean.

Add me to the peppermill list. It is very satisfying to get freshly cracked pepper. (It's better for the meal, too.) Even though I know it's coming from whole peppercorns, it feels nearly like making something good out of nothing.