"Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous glowing pearls. And strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than at the movies. But this is what I'm finding, in glimpses and flashes: This is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I'm waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. this is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets --this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience." --Shanna Niequist
I've been collecting my own strand of pearls recently. My own necklace of little moments that when I look back on them, I can recall with each one the joy in the moment. Like a pearl necklace, with each finger rubbing over the sphere of each pearl, one single memory, making up the strand of my own pedestrian life. Here are some of the moments that I'm adding to my strand:
*The gleeful joy that my son exhibited last week as we practiced loving-kindness toward a "secret pal" in our own family.
*The look of shock, surprise, and pleasure while watching the eyes and countenance of my youngest as she attempted, and for the first time succeeded, in completing a summersault. And then the pride of her older sister, as she turned to me and said, "I taught her that!"
*Watching my daughter with her daddy and realizing that he is truly her hero. To put it simply, answers to prayer --that my own daughters might have a father who is worthy of hero-worship.
*Listening to my middle daughter and her own little vocabulary of communication. Her latest word is mistaked, as in, "I mistaked." Oh, I want to remember that one. And I want to live like her, not hanging on to my mistakes, simply stating that I mistaked and then moving back to my joy.
My pearls are not the same as yours. But you have them, too. What are they? Are you collecting? I want to be savoring the pearls in the every day that is my life, not overlooking one single treasure. My glorious, ordinary, one life.
By the way, the quote is from Niequist's new book, "Cold Tangerines", a glorious book of anecdotes about the discipline of celebration. Highly recommended. Delicious writing.