It’s again late as I sit down to write my post of the day. I wasn’t sure what the subject would be, but then it struck me how relaxed I feel now, the warm glow of being in a place where I feel nourished, uplifted, seen, heard, where I’m having fun. I’m a very lucky girl. I love my in laws, feel very welcomed by them, look forward to seeing them, and laugh a lot with them when we’re together.
Nourished. A big part of the warm glowy feeling arises from being well-fed. I haven’t had to think about or prepare a meal since we arrived in Utah last Monday. Can I get an “AMEN!” from all of the moms (and dads, and caregivers) out there who get kind of sick thinking about preparing one more meal when you’re just feeling tired and want to rest? It has been an incredible luxury to have family around saying, “Let’s have crepes and bacon for breakfast!” “I’m putting ribs on the grill for tonight!” “Let’s make a turkey and mashed potatoes dinner!” “Could I fix you a sandwich?” Honestly, all of this tangible love in the form of food has left me feeling like a queen, and I could really get used to life like this. Eating delicious home-cooked meals together with family, laughing, sharing–how could something so simple be so absolutely wonderful? Seeing how I feel when in the midst of such support I realize that I’m not eating enough in my normal daily routine. I realize that I need to change something about my approach to meals back home, probably planning more and getting more excited about recipes or something.
Uplifted. Another part of the warm glowy feeling–I love nature, and there are mountains, alpine forests, and gorgeous wildflower meadows not too far off. Salt Lake City is tucked in a cozy valley with majestic mountains rising up to meet the blue sky. I have never felt more fulfilled, more like myself, than when I am in a mountain forest smelling the earth, the rock, the pine needles. I hiked with my husband, kids, mother in law, and two of my brothers in law to Albion basin the other day, and spent a moment at Cecret lake. Wind. Sun. Earth. Mountains. Flowers. Trees. Heaven. How could something so simple as a walk outside touch me on such a deep level? My soul sings when I’m in the forest. It has always been that way.
Seen. Heard. The number of fulfilling conversations I have had since we arrived last Monday gives me hope that I can have more experiences like this, even back home in Baltimore. I have written a great deal this year about feeling lonely, feeling isolated, when I’m at home with my two kids and I don’t have the energy to go out in search of a friend. Here, with family, it is so easy to just strike up a conversation and talk about Scandinavian history, or yogic philosophy, or hear funny anecdotes, and just in general enjoy having company to be around. I have been able to share my thoughts and feelings, even when I had that rough spot where my husband took himself out golfing and I was bummed out. When my mother in law saw my need to be heard, she stopped talking, stopped trying to help me feel better, and just listened. Another simple little thing that ends up being monumentally important, incredibly valuable, this ability to sit with someone and listen to what they have to say. What a gift it is to be understood.
Having fun. Today we went to a local pool and had a blast splashing around with the kids in the shallow area, going down fast water slides, jumping off of diving platforms even thought it was scary as hell. We had two adults for every child in our group, which meant that I was able to wander off every once in a while and enjoy a moment–however brief–of vacation. I lay on the warm pavement when I was feeling cold, I ate an ice cream sandwich when I felt hot. Again, the simplest of things revealing to me that I don’t need life to take a certain form to be happy. Little treasures can reveal themselves every moment, if only I can open my eyes to them. If only I can avoid taking these little gems for granted.
And once again I get a deep sense of what true wealth is–not mansions, designer clothes, private jets, exotic vacations–it’s being happy, feeling fulfilled with my real life as it is right now, enjoying a glass of ice water, the way the white clouds float across the azure blue sky, the sound of wind through pine needles, watching my two year old son go down the kiddie slide over and over again, squealing, laughing.
Thank you life. Thank you for all of the gifts you have sent my way. I feel fulfilled.
Let me not search for happiness outside myself.
It is here, now, in the sound of my heart beating,
in the fullness of my breath,
in the mind that understands how to find stillness,
the joy of knowing a loved one,
of holding a child’s small hand .
With so much air to breathe,
how could I ever feel poor again?
With so much light,
how could I feel sad?
Let me not search for happiness outside myself.
It is here, now, in this moment, exactly where I am.