and how was your day?

Today warrants two posts since the last was long overdue and because today I found myself unexpectedly walking down a sidewalk in Kings Mountain in high heels.

It all started when someone backed into my Blazer.

The morning class passed by uneventfully as I went over math, reading and language with my students, but I felt immense sense of relief when the clock’s hands finally reached 12:30. My stomach was empty, I was tired, and felt like I was coming down with a cold. I could almost hear a hot cup of tea beckoning me. I was just loading up my books and preparing to head out when I heard a student tell me to come outside. “You better come see this,” he said, holding open to the door to the building and pointing toward my Blazer.

Another student was peering at the bumper of my vehicle, her truck door open, engine idling.

I stepped outside to take a closer look to see if there was any damage and was relieved to only see a minor scratch. My relief was short-lived, however, when I saw the other student let go of the door to the church building. It seemed to close in slow motion and as soon as he let go, his face registered immediate regret.

I felt some pity for him as he plead for forgiveness, his face woebegone. I tried to be as kind and nonchalant as possible but inside, I was screaming.

I was locked out. Inside the classroom sat my purse, my car keys and my phone with all my contacts in it. No one else was on the church property. I tried to pick the lock to no avail and the windows were all secure.

Luckily there was a convenience store nearby and the clerk very kindly let me use the phone several times. And also luckily I remembered my mom’s phone number – only one of two I actually have memorized. I started walking in the direction she would arrive, a little amused at the unexpected turn of the day, and trying to enjoy the walk as much as possible. It wasn’t long until I saw her car pull in a side street nearby.

I was eventually able to get in touch with someone who could unlock the church and my items were safely returned to me. All’s well that ends well!

I’ve heard – and said – it so often it seems well-worn and cliche. 

But it really is true that time seems to fly.

Each day slips past in a blur, the days falling away like dominoes until before you know it you’ve just turned 30 and you’re wondering how it came to be. We get lost in these daily routines and forget that the mundane is actually an amazing gift and that every day we wake and see the world around us is pretty spectacular. At the same time, with the passing of these decades, I look back and feel a twinge of regret; a wish that life had maybe turned out just a little bit differently. That I had made different decisions, had more opportunities. Some moments, it hits home hard – we only get once chance at this thing called life. One chance to love and make memories and experience new places and things. I want to grab hold of each day and live it more fully than I currently am. Time is too fleeting not to do the things you love. I want to travel more. Write a book. Learn. Embark on adventures both big and small and take on new hobbies and challenges. 

Here’s to the next 30 years!

 

The nameless people

Jam was in fine form today.

His orange shirt glowed bright as an autumn leaf in the afternoon sunlight and his boom box was precariously balanced on left shoulder, a silent stream of music blasting from the speakers and straight into his ear drums. He stood there, in the middle of the sidewalk on Grover Street and moved his body to a beat only he heard, bending knees, gyrating hips, and keeping up a continuous rhythm that exuded a joie de vivre.

I don’t know Jam’s story. I don’t even know his name. But I want to. I wonder where he was born. Was it here, in this small-town? Or further afield in a big, nameless city? What life trajectory left him here, on a hot sidewalk in a Southern city, dancing before an oblivious audience? While the rest of us march forward, surging onward to jobs and errands and grocery shopping, he is simply caught up in the joy – or need – to dance.

These are the stories I want to collect. These are the stories I want to tell.

New seasons

I woke up to fall this morning.
Dry leaves were scattered across the lawn and the sky was a limitless blue speckled by flocks of clouds. And there was a nip to the air that hinted at colder days to come and the need for jackets and hot drinks.
I got on my bike and put in a few miles – riding into a wind that made me struggle up the slightest incline; past fences still blanketed in late season honeysuckle and newly blooming morning glories. The velvety purple and pink flowers brightened ditches and fields and twined over barbed wire strands creating garlands between fence posts. It was a glorious morning to be alive and I enjoyed the cool air rushing past me and the strain of my muscles as I biked past homes and fields.
I love the changing of the seasons; the subtle shortening of days, the deepening blue of the sky and honk of geese heading further south. With the new season comes the potential for new possibilities.

Extra + ordinary = extraordinary

Some moments, I fully absorb life. I believe true pleasure is in the details.

Tonight, as I was driving home from work in my car, past homes and businesses and bright street lights, I looked out my window and noticed the moon. A barely there, fingernail of a moon. A slice of yellow in a sea of black. And every few minutes, a wave of clouds would swallow that crescent, like a smoky fish swallowing a hook. It was a simple thing, but so beautiful.

So sometimes, I collect these details. These ordinary, every day moments that really mean nothing, but are beautiful simply because they encapsulate what it means to be alive:
The green ivy crawling up a wall.
A man in a ballcap sweeping confetti off a gym floor.
Bike tire imprints in a sidewalk.
The sound a pinecone makes underfoot.
Window boxes full of flowers.
The heat of the sun on bare skin.

The list goes on. Some days aren’t full of grand moments, exciting things or new scenery. But even the most ordinary day is full of things waiting to be discovered.

Life is astounding and I never want to cease to be amazed by it. True pleasure is in the details.

September

I’m a terrible blogger.
Life gets busy and when I finally get a chance to catch my breath, writing just seems like another chore to check off my ever growing list.
But, since my evening is free tonight and Nat is sweetly sleeping, I will sit down and dash off a post.
Every month, I like to sit down and write out my goals. It’s so inspiring to begin a new month – like a clean slate in a miniscule way. For me, it’s a good time to evaluate what I want to accomplish in the next four weeks as well as plan some fun things to do.
So here are a few things I want to do in September, that magical month when fall begins.

September goals
-Run two miles in 20 minutes or under.
-Bike 100 miles over the course of the month.
-Clean up all excess junk in one room of the house.
-Find a tattoo place.
– Go hiking.
– Talk to a realtor about putting house up for sale.
-Read up to page 750 in War and Peace.
– Finish editing book.
– write a short story.
– Get the puppy housetrained (!)
– Celebrate turning 30.
– Do something altruistic.