Wild Musings with Renee Magnusson Day 9 Cherish
Cherish. I rarely use this word. It feels quaint and old-fashioned, delicate even yet fierce and deep. As I moved through my day, I found myself cherishing not so much things but moments, and not so much moments but experiences, and not so much experiences but people, and not so much people but the memories of being with those people and the way things could remind me of specific moments and experiences. It made me a little spinny.
I’m a clutterbug (kind word)—everything has a story or reminds me of someone or of an experience with someone. But what do I truly cherish? No one thing came to mind although I could look around and point out many things that I love dearly. So many things.
Today, I found myself cherishing the slant of morning sunlight as I made my favourite breakfast, French toast with slightly cooked fruit. This struck me one day on another prompt too—that some day I may be somewhere else and the morning sun will light up my cooking area, spill into the frying pan and across the counter, shoot rainbows across the ceiling, and I will be immediately back in this moment and all those years of similar moments in this house with the radio on and pets eating and Rob somewhere (even if not in the house at that time) and my son safe somewhere many miles away and me making French toast, bread dripping egg into a pan sizzling with butter. Whatever may be troubling me today at this very moment, overall means nothing, swept up as it is in the broad brush stroke of this collective feeling, this layering of moment upon moment upon similar moment over time which is simply so very comforting. And which I know I will always carry with me somehow. This is what happens, isn’t it? The insight of this moment with all its imperfections being perfect because it becomes a woven strand in your life, often a golden thread which we don’t even recognise at the time.
Something about the word cherish forces me to boil things down to their essence, to something pale and shimmering that almost disappears if you look at it straight on.
I went to tai chi practice at the gym. And I cherish that. But it’s not really that. It’s the feeling of accumulation again. Repetition. Body memory. Time upon time upon time of years upon years upon years of tai chi all over the place, in groups and alone. It all comes together each time, all those other times build on this time today, the familiar grounding that I often so desperately need, the fierce concentration that is also so freeing, the pride when it all comes together and my body relaxes into it, the humanity when I stumble.
I cherish my chats with Louise after in the parking lot. But it’s more than that. It’s all the times we stop and chat and sometimes talk about nothing deep but sometimes do and we never know where a conversation will take us but we just both enjoy the connection and the witnessing of each other in this world, not just in a busy parking lot after tai chi practice. Cherishing those moments transcends those moments.
I arrived home to a lovely birthday card from an old friend in Britain. He had sent me a card with a photo on it that he’d taken on a walk on his birthday in February. ‘From my birthday to your birthday’ he wrote inside. The photo was of the area we grew up in, an expanse of hills looking to towns from my childhood. Again, what do I cherish? The card? The sentiment? My friend? Of course but also his thoughtfulness, his knowing that it would mean a lot to me and all those other moments over all the years that build upon each other, even the hard times which somehow become a foundation as we move beyond them.
Effy shared a video with some of her groups last week about still creating during hard times and in turn I shared it with my writing groups. Today I got an email from one of my writing friends, John Pringle, to thank me for it, saying it really spoke to him. He shared the following with me: (copied with his permission):
‘My father carried a volume of Shakespeare with him while he crawled around Italy and France during WW II. One of my favourite memories of him. I think he personified what Lewis was saying. When it was all over he worked 2 years to help settle refugees and then returned home in 1947 and eventually taught English with great gusto. And kept his sense of humour (a dark one!)’
John’s partner also messaged me to thank me for sending the video saying it meant a lot to her as well.
I cherish all that. The mutual sharing and connecting and ideas and emotions all bouncing off each other as we stumble along together in this life. It’s like someone holding out a hand and steadying you for a while. It’s not any one thing although every one thing certainly makes it richer and bigger but again that accumulation, that string of moments and the never-knowingness of it, never knowing when a connection will happen or be made. Synchronicity but sometimes not even as dramatic as that. That look at it sideways and not for too long thing again. Like a star. It’s there all the time but look too forcefully and it disappears. But it’s always there.
Dad emailed today about a birthday dinner with him and my step-mom. I cherish that. And all the caring moments scattered in the everyday ordinariness of a lifetime.
Rob came home with bags of salt and vinegar chips just for me. My favourites. He had to go to 5 stores to get them. Again, not just this one caring act but many many many stacked upon each other over all the years to become something elusive, a relationship, a marriage, that may not make sense to anyone else but which is something that I deeply cherish even if we both may see areas we might want to improve upon or change. Perhaps something can be cherished even more if it is a little tattered and imperfect. Like The Velveteen Rabbit.
And how would I like to be cherished? In writing this, I realise I am so very cherished in so many different ways, so much more than I ever truly acknowledge. The acknowledgement is extremely humbling.
pointy-toed plastic booties
brighter smiles #69 & 26
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.