Yesterday I snuck away from my work in the archives at the Huntington to spend some time in the gardens. But it was crowded and I felt frustrated that I didn’t feel peace, only annoyance at all of the people and their chatter and their strollers and just them. Everywhere.
Then I found a little path leading through the camellia grove to the Children’s Garden (everyone else, it seemed, was headed for the newly-opened Chinese Garden). I wandered among the trees, marveling at the variety of colors and sizes of the flowers. Snapping a few pictures, the tension in my shoulders eased. I relished the solitude for about 20 minutes before I headed back to the reading room.
On days like these I realize that I have a very blissful life. I spend my time with family and friends, with historical research and writing, and with nature. I feel so lucky. I try not to take any of it for granted. In many ways, this blog is my way of affirming the good that the universe has brought to my life, to show that every bit of it is appreciated.
A few years ago I remember thinking that people who have homes overlooking the ocean, they probably get so used to it that they don’t realize how lucky they are. I’d imagined that many days they even forget to take note of the view and of the smells and sensations of the sea.
Me, I have this life of so much goodness. So every day I take notice, give thanks, and recognize how very fortunate I am–trying never to take these good things for granted. Were I to live by the sea, I would celebrate each and every wave, mindful of the privilege of coastal living. As it is, I find myself counting each and every blessing in my current life. From the joy of waking with EllyCat nestled between John & I, to the awesomeness of my responsible children who did all the laundry this morning, to enjoying the smells of fresh rain on earth yesterday evening, to the wind blowing outside right now, to the luxury of having time to contemplate all of these things as I share them with you.
“It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth–and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up–that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one that we had.”