It was a picture taken in 1962 that prompted this post. There was a Christmas tree in the background with a little girl in front. The tree was so real – the icicles were thick and sparkly and had been put on by a child, the lights were big and the branches were random on this ordinary Douglas Fir. A special time had been created there with magic and tiny hands – nothing was perfect except the moment and the baby doll she was holding was one like I remember, the eyes sort of clicked and rolled, the hair was etched and she was wearing a long gown with tiny buttons – so real and pure. I felt that Christmas morning, that place before now when the emphasis was not on materialism and the world was still so big and “virtual” was not something I spoke of.
Anyway, it was just a snapshot of “then” that made me look at “now” and while some things are much better, I do miss the purity of life that was “then”– the wholeness and the understanding that the things that matter have nothing to do with marketing and consumerism, it was the solid structure of family that was just assumed, and the glory in the everyday things that made us happy. I choose to remain there in that place where Christmas trees had big colored lights and imperfect branches and happiness was warm socks and hot soup in winter and dragonflies on clotheslines in summer.
a snapshot of real happiness – balloons and a dad
I beat the sunrise this Saturday morning; I’m happy about that. I am, as they say, up before the chickens, literally.I haven’t heard them moving around yet and the birds are still cuddled up somewhere because I cannot yet hear their songs. I did see my neighbor, however, pulling his boat going to Marsh Island to catch fish for his family.I am going to the farmers market this morning and this time I want to come home with plenty of vegetables – I need to be there early.I hope to find squash and green beans and tomatoes. I planted my garden late so there is nothing yet to pick except potatoes and I need to find a cool afternoon the dig them up – time before the mosquitoes join me in the garden.
I’m back with snap beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers – beautiful “food less traveled” – to quote a sign I saw there. I am drenched in summer and I feel the world slowing down, getting gentler while the afternons linger and the nights are a spectacle of the waxing moon dangling like an ornament in the nearly summer sky and the June bugs are here with their sturdy shield reminding us of the sultry nights that will soon come to be. The green and blue dragonflies skim the water of the pool and settle on the wire of my clotheslines reminding me , for some reason, of my preschool childhood in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. It was 1958 and my best frends were Lavergne and Jody; we spent afternoons chasing and sometimes catching “mosquito hawks” , running through sprinkles, and eating lunches of bologna sandwiches and Koolaid under the backyard tree. My mom was in the house, my dad was at work, my baby sister was asleep in her baby bed, and I was outside just being “4”, busy making this very simple and enduring summer memory. I really don’t remember much about the pomp and ceremony of my LSU graduation at 21, but I remember being 4 in Thibodeaux. It truly is about the seemingly “little” things for me. I hope you fill this nearly summer day with a myriad of “little things”.