Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday Respite

This blog is about a lot of things, but hopefully the constant thread that runs through it is to live with style, grace and a healthy dose of eccentricity. For me, lately, it's all about making the little moments count. I am never unaware that the clock is ticking, ticking and whereas when I was in my twenties, this would strike panic in my heart ("Hurry! Do something! Make your mark!"), now I find this knowledge empowering.
Do you know the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae about the young soldiers of WWI? There's the most heartbreaking phrase in it:

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Armed with this state of mind, even the littlest moments can be as memorable as the life-changing ones.

While the coffee brews, I unload the dishwasher. Because it's Sunday and I'm not rushing off somewhere, I can take my time. And I do. The simple repetition of stacking plates on top of one another becomes a meditation in blue and white.

The flowers I bought at Trader Joe's two days ago are reclipped and given fresh water. They are grateful and immediately crane their necks into a sun salutation.

Piero is returning from London this afternoon, and Luca is in a state of fervid anticipation. I suggest he go outside and burn off some energy. I perch myself on our brick wall and watch him go up and down the sidewalk on his new skateboard.

I restrain myself from giving him any helpful tips (because shouldn't kids have to figure out some things for themselves?) and watch his precarious balancing attempts. My latté is steamy-hot and milky-sweet. Above me, two birds catch up on each other's lives in plaintive harmony and the dusky fragrance from a nearby privet hedge wafts over to me.
I close my eyes and feel as though my whole existence consists of three things: scent and song and the rhythmic clackety-clack of wheels on sidewalk.

I don't want to move. I just want to stay here, exactly like this, for eternity.

Luca: Mom? I'm done.

It was brief, my little idyll. But it was good.

36 comments:

Jess said...

Beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

Lisa,

I have been touched many times reading your posts as they so are well-written, thoughtful, and evocative of the deeper meaning in life. This one was particularly lovely. You are an old soul. Most people don't reach this level of understanding of what is truly important until they are much, much older. Yes, stacking dishes in the peaceful serenity of your kitchen can be a moment of bliss. I feel we are kindred spirits. Thank you.

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

I try to live life appreciating much, but, at times, I find it very hard to not get tangled up in my hectic lifestyle and then suddenly find that I have gone minutes, hours and days not recognizing all the "smell the roses" moments that I have missed.

It is then that wonderful reminders like your post come into my life.

breathing deep releasing strife

Debra said...

Because these moments are fleeting, they become more precious, don't you think? I love that though- when we can just be still, take in our surroundings, breath and wish for it to last... This is such a lovely post for a Monday morning.

Helena Halme said...

Wonderful. I was there with you in that small, blissfully peaceful moment in a hectic life. Thank you for sharing.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The scent of a privet hedge.
Yes.

Laura [What I Like] said...

So lovely...I'm still in that transition phase between racing to "make my mark" and realizing that things come when they come and one should just sit back and enjoy the ride. So this was a particularly relevant (and instructive!) thought to me. Thank you for the reminder.

Helen James said...

Beautiful post Lisa, I have been trying to take weekends "off" and banned myself from turning the computer on yesterday, I missed nothing and found peace in respite from internet-land for a day. One can become so caught up in getting there that we forget to take in the view along the way. Thanks for the reminder x

C.T. said...

Oohww...this post took me out of the present moment, into yours. Beautiful! Thank you Lisa, XXX, C.

Kathy G said...

"the rhythmic clackety-clack of wheels on sidewalk."

This phrase brought back so many memories on a street of towering oak trees with my little boy, now 26, in the clutches of a skateboard obsession...when he was a teenager and venturing further from home on that board I would listen for that reassuring sound knowing that he was returning safely.

Your posts are reassuring in the same way...they always bring me "back home".

Mrs. Blandings said...

Lovely. This is why I can't get behind twitter - then the whole time you would have been neck craned over punching buttons on your phone instead of being there.

A Super Dilettante said...

It's such a contemplative post not just only because of your beautiful objects in your house but because of the words you describe...tender and graceful just like you are modern Mrs Dalloway, the hostess with the grace and style my dear xx

Juliet said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Terra said...

This is a sweet idyll you share with us here.

helen tilston said...

Lisa,

You are so at peace with the love in your heart and you express it beautifully in your blog.
Thank you, thank you, thank you

VictoriaArt said...

Now you have your man back and your little guy a step closer to mastering the tricks of skateboarding!
Isn't it all about those small moments? I agree and living every moment aware is a wonderful thing!

Just last week my youngest (10)begged us to let him take the skateboard and come back from school with it!
We did and he was proud and happy upon returning!
Nothing teaches more the a self learned lesson! He was safe on our smaller neighborhood streets!
Enjoy these eternal moments!

And enjoy spring in California!

XX
V.

Cat Sitter in the City said...

This really is a beautiful post. Thank you for writing it!

Beautiful Things said...

Yes. This post definitely struck a chord with me. The older I get the more I appreciate the small pleasures in life.

Jessica said...

Sighhhh....heaven.

lala said...

I know all about having a little skateboard fanatic. Love to see L. so properly protected.

Anonymous said...

What's your china pattern?

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Lisa...you are our modern day Brother Lawrence. He took joy in washing pots & pans in the monastery in the 1600's. Thank you for pushing me to be still and in the moment.

Kathysue said...

Great post and It was like being there with you. I have a saying that I say as a sign off on my blog post, "Enjoy the Process" It looks to me as if you have practice that lesson and it is a way of life, Kudos to you!! Happy Tuesday, Kathysue

pve design said...

I did not want that golden moment to end. That is how I feel about your writing. Oh, I yearn for some sort of book that I can pick up, and see the words written so luxuriously yet simply there, just stacked like those dishes. Your world lures me in, and I never want my connection to you to stop. Is it safe to say, that I am living vicariously as a voyeur, not stalking one bit, just enjoying glimpses of another life.
I like your vagabond state of living each moment, settling in, making a home from all your travels.
pve

LiveLikeYou said...

What a sweet, well written blog. Will visit often.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

P.S. pve took the words right out of my mouth. Please begin your book.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Anonymous: The china is Johnson Brothers "Old Britain Castles", available here (and other places):

http://www.dinnerwaredepot.com/shop/catalog/handler~event~familySelected~pf_id~2553.htm

Sturdy, charming and not expensive... so there are no panic attacks if Luca misjudges the kitchen counter.

Joanna said...

Thank you for sharing these stolen moments with us. A great lesson in taking it slow and enjoying the moments as they come.

Julie said...

Beautiful post, beautiful window ledge, beautiful mother/son moment...thanks for sharing.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I truly love hearing you verbalize the details of a Sunday morning. I love to get up early and take in the quiet with my own hot mug. And it is wonderful to be reminded special moments are in everything!

Blue said...

A lovely piece of writing! As always, when I drop in I find something to amuse, to amaze and something to move.

home before dark said...

My daily dishes are Blue Calico and I have had the same thought for years. Being an in the womb feminist, I had to teach myself I was not betraying anything to love the look of strawberries in a blue bowl. The sunlight on a stainless pan making rainbows in the sun. The pleasure of putting a kitchen right after a wonderful meal. Your post reminds me a bit of Wallace Steven's "Sunday Morning." Words I have loved for over 40 years.

Anonymous said...

It was so cool to have you mention John McCrae and the beautiful exerpt from his WWI poem "In Flanders Fields." I live in Guelph where he is from and my daughter goes to John McCrae School. On Remembrance Day in Canada everyone wears a red poppie in remembrance...I feel connected to you all the way out there in California if only in some small way...

Victoria said...

Do I totally LOVE that you have blue and white dishes?

Of course I do!

Flanders Field makes me weep. I'm so glad that little boys on skateboards make me smile.

Victoria said...

Do I totally LOVE that you have blue and white dishes?

Of course I do!

Flanders Field makes me weep. I'm so glad that little boys on skateboards make me smile.

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