Today I was swamped with little monotonous chores. It was just one of those days that inspired me to make The List in the first place. There were dirty dishes to clean, meals to make, appointments to schedule, errands to run… by 4:00pm I was wondering how I was going to find time for anything on The List. I was feeling sleepy and a bit sluggish, and there were several things left on my lower case to-do list still to do.
I looked at my messy desk and put on my sternest mom face and said out loud to myself, “You can spare half an hour.” So, I pushed the papers aside, picked up my keys and jumped in my Jeep.
In little more than ten minutes, I was at Lake Balboa. I got out of the car and walked a bit of the curving path, taking a deep breath as I went. A cool breeze blew softly across the water and little ducks bobbed in the waves. A young woman was trying to arrange two squirming, giggling toddlers into a photo. Finally she gave up and sat down on the grass. They jumped on top of her, and her sunglasses went askew and then they were all laughing in a pile. I could smell a charcoal fire going, and I saw a happy old guy pulling hot dogs from a package while his expectant dog sat obediently watching him. Several people smiled as they jogged by. A guy was tinkering with his remote control boat. Some very large geese went honking by. Two squirrels chased each other between trees, making chattering noises as they ran.
As the sun began to set. I pulled out my camera and I got a quick shot of some ducks with the sun sinking into the trees behind them. It’s a silhouette photo, but I didn’t craft it. I didn’t work at it. It could be better, but it doesn’t need to be.
Sometimes the lesson is just to take a moment. Breathe deeply. Listen to the evening songs of birds. Get a bit of mud on my shoes. Feel the last rays of sun on my face. Stop striving and enjoy an aimless moment. Sit in stillness and let joy wander in.
Half an hour later I was back home and making dinner, but I felt refreshed and something tells me that I was much more pleasant company than I would have been without those moments to myself, those moments big as years.
331 days to go!