Patti challenges us this morning with a request to see our Favorite Things. Here’s a glimpse of me enjoying my favorite thing —
Yesterday, I was volunteering at the Riveredge Nature Center in a classroom of 5th Graders learning about Pond Interactions.
“Who can define ‘interaction’? The way two things engage with each other – excellent! Now, who knows what we call things that are living or were once living? Good – ‘biotic’ is the right word. What do we call something that was never alive? ‘Abiotic’ – that’s probably not a very familiar word. What do you see here that’s ‘abiotic’? The eyeglasses on my face is a good example. And how do I engage with them? I carry them around on my ears and they help me see. Exactly.”
My favorite things are not things. They are biotic and abiotic energies. Living beings and non-living elements like water, air, warmth, and rock.
In my highest tier of living Favorites would be the family that I helped create. My late husband, who kissed me for the first time exactly 41 years ago today, and the four children that we loved into being.
And because I have four children, I am not practiced at playing favorites and picking out specific individuals for special affection. So I have to say that also in that highest tier is My Favorite Planet – Earth. The whole thing. My favorite part of Earth is that interaction of biotic and abiotic energy that has not been dominated by human technology. Things like water vapor and trees…
…and rock and air and plants…
…and wild animals in their natural habitat.
When I think of the abundance of interactions going on all around, of Life on Planet Earth, how can I judge that anything is out of favor? My preference can’t magnify or diminish any of it. All I can do is reflect on how much I appreciate being part of it, being here to witness and to marvel.
Maybe that’s my favorite thing of all – being alive.
The most fun I ever had with my camera was doing my son’s wedding photo shoot one year ago. Well, I was a bit nervous…at first. I’d never done a portrait photo shoot before. Much less a wedding one. But all the logistics came together beautifully, and these kids are just so darn photogenic, that I knew I was getting seriously excellent shots. So I relaxed and had an absolute ball. I really enjoy being with my kids. They’re full of fun…and youth.
Turns out you can, indeed, go home. Expect things to have changed, expect to discover new delights. Expect to laugh and cry. Hug your loved ones. And plan to return.
Thanks, Mom, for sharing your gifts as always: music, food, wisdom and stories.
Thanks, Sarah, for offering me your perfectly comfortable home, your gracious listening ears, more food, and transportation. And for sharing Stanley. Thanks, Dharam, for sharing your presence, your insights, your music, and your fabulous hugs. And more food.
Thanks, David and Sarah, for sharing your time, your vulnerability, your smiles, your love. And food. Thanks, Cristina, Guru & Amrit for showing up with youth and energy and honesty. And even more food. My hope for the future is greatly increased the more I get to know you.
And thanks, Val and Mike, for your hospitality, wisdom, and stories. Including great food and lots of wine!
I love having you all in my life!
Going home isn’t easy for some. When I come home to family, it can be a slugfest…but in the most delightful way.
Many years ago, four members of my family were cast in a community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof – my late husband, myself, my son and my daughter. My son, fabulous dancer that he is, performed in the Russian cossack dance and the Jewish bottle dance. To bring this full circle, we will be celebrating my son’s wedding ceremony this weekend.
The wedding scene in the musical features a beautiful tune called “Sunrise, Sunset”.
“…Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older, when did they?
What words of wisdom can I give them,
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another,
Day by day.”
To Josh and Daena: may all your sunrises and sunsets together fill you with joy and wonder!
How do I finish this sentence? “I’d rather be….” It presents a bit of a conflict.
If I can think of other things I’d rather be doing, then I’m not engaging with the present moment and the thing that I’m doing right now. I’d like to be a person that practices the discipline of positive presence, but honestly, I do a lot of wishful thinking.
That said…here’s what I would enjoy doing, any time!
#1 – Hanging out with my adult children. They are all tremendously stimulating individuals, and I’m very attached to them…and they all live at least 70 miles away from me. So occasions to be together are always a treat. Occasions when all five of us are together are extra special!
#2 – Camping. “Can I play outside? Please?”
#3 – Making music, dancing to music, listening to music
So my complete fantasy would be singing around a campfire with all my kids. Hasn’t happened yet, but maybe some day….
Yeah, that would be a real Kumbaya moment. Peace out!
In my mind, there can only be one theme for today. Today is my daughter Susan’s birthday. I’ve been photographing her for 33 years now. She is one of my very favorite subjects, not simply because she has a beautiful smile and is ridiculously photogenic, but also because she is an extraordinarily caring person. You can see how her warmth touches the other subjects in these photos.
Engrossed in escape
Happy Birthday, my darling daughter! May your endlessly creative variations continue for many more years.