Lists are a kind of discipline

I am plummeting, for some reason, these days my heart is constantly sad.  But even so, I can look all around me and see a blessing there, and there, and there.  Right over there!  Maybe the counting of these blessings, like beads on a rosary or tiny pebbles that I rub in my hands, is the most important kind of noticing.  I feel like I am sinking, and so now I need to say thank you over and over again, because there is no sinking harder to come back from than self pity. I know myself enough to know that at some point I will come floating back to the surface. For now, I need to become even more still, to notice the simple, beautiful things that are following me and to say yes to each one, to welcome them in, because they are the hands of my Master, bringing me along.

Here are some beautiful things from this day:

1. There is a small toad who sits on my back stoop every evening, just outside the door.  He blinks at me when I go outside.  I make a sweeping gesture to let him know he can come in, but he never takes me up on my offer.  He just sits there. I'm not sure why. Maybe he is bashful. He is a bashful toad, but he wants to sit just outside and be quiet, and maybe listen to my music, when it is playing in the evenings and the children are sleeping and the air has begun to cool down.

2. My little hibiscus bush has three buds that will most likely flower tomorrow.  I pruned it and now it seems to be putting buds out everywhere. (There is a lesson here.  Jesus, the Great Gardener, used this severe example of the branch and the scissors and the flowers.)   There are buds for tomorrow, some for the next day... The flowers are bright yellow with a red heart. I want more flowers in my life.  I will head to the nursery sometime in the next week, I think.

3. I have a papaya which will be perfect for breakfast, along with the yogurt I am making.

4. This evening kids and I went to the birthday party of a little boy that we met in the mountains, whose family is now here. We sat and talked and went for a walk and the kids were wild and the parents sought peace, and it was good and companionable.

5. Solo is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen, these days.  Talking earnestly to me. Standing up, taking steps, falling. Standing up, taking steps, falling.  Shrieking with delight. This one's a good one. I think we'll keep him.


(The photo is of course by Chinua.)