And because I'm not having too many original thoughts these days - at least none that I can share in public - I am going to follow Jen's example and share a few things that I am cherishing, a few things that are watering and nourishing my parched and famished spirit these days.
1. Journaling, so much journaling. Cracking my heart open, spilling its contents, trying to keep the mess between the covers - and not always being successful at it. Pages painted and collaged and written on and filled up day after day.
2. Coffee every morning. Sometimes I flavor it with the peppermint syrup I bought at Starbucks. Yes, you can buy bottles of their flavored syrups and throw your own super-sweet coffee parties in your own kitchen. One bottle of syrup costs considerably less than two of my favorite coffee concoctions.
3. Reading, reading, reading. I don't remember most of what I read, but I love doing it nonetheless. Perhaps my very short-lived short term memory causes me to love reading all the more, because if I remembered everything I've ever read, there wouldn't be room in my overstuffed brain for new books or magazines.
4. Deepening friendships. I'm learning that daily contact isn't nearly as valuable, soul-stirring, or life-affirming as deep contact. And there has been some seriously deep contact happening this summer. Dailyness often morphs into shallowness, unfortunately. And who has time for shallowness when there is so much beauty and richness and power in the deeper places of life and faith and spirit?
5. Trader Joe's Caribbean Fruit Floes. Now that's a popsicle for grown-ups - but my kids tend to get to them before I can!
6. A lemon drop martini with a veggie burger and braised red cabbage at 131 Main. Plus key lime pie to take home for later. Yum!!! And the opportunity to enjoy all that alone with a good book - now that's the perfect meal!
7. Chasing my silly little dog around the house - and then snapping my fingers and having her lie down at my feet immediately.
8. Air conditioning in the minivan. We are going through the hottest summer in recent history down here in Charlotte. Feeling that cool air flow past my sweaty face is a beautiful thing, indeed.
9. My bed. Big and cozy. I'm in it alone a lot these days - not that I"m cherishing THAT part, but it's a great bed and snuggling down between the sheets on my super soft pillow is one of the highlights of my night. This summer, Steve and Daniel have abandoned us for life on the junior tennis circuit. That boy had better pay off the balance of my mortgage and buy me a new pillow or two with his first paycheck, that's all I'm asking.
10. Life itself. I am cherishing life these days. With illness and surgery and flooding and fires and oil spills and shootings and war and death all around me, life is looking and feeling mighty fine these days. With laughter and phone calls and tales of wildness and long rambling emails and giggle-producing text messages and quiet art dates and bubbly time with my Life Group and going to the movies alone & with friends and dancing with Andre at cardio funk and hopping and dancing around the room at zumba and burning incense and taking short road trips and dodging butterflies and rescuing turtles and talking with friendly neighbors on humid summer nights and listening out for the subtle murmuring of ancient evenings and distant music - with all of that swirling around me and within me and thru me, I am a woman falling back in love with my life. Just as it is. Empty bed, full garbage cans, ironing pile, patchy grass, and coffee-stained teeth notwithstanding.