Instead of the usual Thursday Thirteen, I am going to make a list of people, things, events, and feelings I love - or like a whole lot.
- I love the sound of my kids laughing as they play with and chase Maya.
- I love going to bed at night. The instant when my head hits my rather firm pillow is one of the highlights of my day.
- I really like my new bedsheets: nice sale on 420 thread-counts at JCPenney. Deep eggplant color. Deep comfort.
- I love the fact that, except for when I consume caffeine after 4 PM, I have never had difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. For that I am enormously grateful.
- Nonetheless, I introduced myself to the wonder of sleeping pills last night. A friend recommended the Harris Teeter brand sleep aid. The box said to take two pills. I took one. Very soon thereafter, I was out cold. Even when I got up in the middle of the night to go pee,thanks to my nightly ritual of chamomile and lavender tea, I felt the unmistakable weight of sleep on my mind, my body, and my eyelids. Nice feeling. And that was with only one pill. I think I will try two at some point soon.
I took the pill because I am thinking of using one on the plane next Friday night when I take the flight to Germany. The final destination is Sevilla, Spain, but "you can't get there from here" - without one stop in Munich and another in Barcelona. Normally I wouldn't think of taking a pill on an international flight, but with a full eighteen hours of travel ahead of me, I will need to get a few good hours of sleep on that first leg of the journey.
- I love to travel: near and far. Long and short trips. New places, familiar places. There is so much beauty in the world, so many people to meet, so much food to sample, and the best way to experience the world's many wonders is to get out there and see it, touch it, smell it, taste it, and hear it for myself.
- I really like it when the phone rings, I check the caller ID and see the name and number of someone I love and want to talk to. I also like being able to let unwanted or unexpected callers leave a message.
- I love my children's eyes and hands: expressive, gentle, wondrous to behold. I still marvel at the fact that my body created their bodies. That somehow I served as a vessel for bringing two new souls into the universe. What an honor. What a responsibility.
- I also love my husband's hands, so strong, so soft, so tender.
- For the past two mornings, I've foregone my morning exercise tapes and taken to the streets. Thirty to forty minutes of walking, while doing bicep curls and lat raises with my dumbbells, and praying my way through my neighborhood make for a great way to start the day.
- I love music. Last night after I was finished with a brief meeting to discuss the upcoming trip to Spain, I slipped into the sanctuary of my church to listen to the praise group practice for Sunday. That song they were singing, whatever it was called, is one of the most beautiful anthems I've heard in a long time. Voices, instruments, fine acoustics, and an audience of One. Not me, no. God was the audience. To Him be the glory.
- I love the fact that in the midst of the messiness of life,
the chronic pain that is ripping through Alexis's ten year old body,
the confusion in the mind of the mentally ill, like Claire,
the loss of people we love to death, especially Kathleen's father,
the horrific disease of cancer in Bill,
the trauma of labor and delivery that Rashaa just endured,
the insecurity of job loss for people like Albert,
the fear of deportation that haunts so many people I know,
in the midst of the music, the art, the travel,
and the restorative sleep I so richly enjoy,
in the midst of all that,
there is hope.
There is faith.
There is love.