Saturday, November 14, 2009

Elevator Buttons

My friend Mari started a new blog about finding grace and being grateful for everyday things (and miracles, too). I have been so inspired by this, that I want to follow suit. Forgive me if you find this kind of gratitude overbearing and cheesy. I find it good practice for recognizing that you ALREADY have a great life. For an ambitious A-Type like me, this is a very, very good practice. I will still have travel stories, don't worry! But since my computer crashed completely obliterating my photos from Australia (pucha!), it will be awhile till I have something good to show. So on non-travel blog days, I'll have two things I'm thankful for and one thing that I think is funny.

1. Elevator Buttons: I'm stealing number one from Mari who one day commented on the joy of pressing elevator buttons. It stopped me in my tracks. I thought, "Hey, yeah, I doooo like pressing elevator buttons." My favorite kind are the older ones that have a little spring in them so that when you press them they give the tiniest little "click." Just thinking about them makes me want to get into an elevator and press all of them and then run out before I get stuck on all the floors.

2. Flowers: This one I know is a little lame. Who isn't thankful for flowers? Who do you know says, ugh, those flowers are gross? But I will be specific. I am thankful for bouganvillea and jasmine just a tiny bit more than how much I'm already thankful for the rest of them. Or, how about, I'm thankful that with just a glance at the flowers I have in a vase on my desk, I am uplifted. I am buoyed. I am a tinier bit happier to see them. It might be so small it is like the tiny click of an elevator button, but it still counts. Happier is happier.

3. Funny: My roommate Lua telling a long joke. She can't do it to save her life. It'll go something like this... "Okay, so two guys walk into a bar. No wait...maybe it was two nuns. Okay, yeah, two nuns walk into a bar. No wait, two priests, yeah, two priests walk into a bar and..............(long pause)..........shit, I think I just ruined the punchline."

And that's all folks!

Spring is Here in Chile

Everywhere, spring says hello. A walk in the park becomes a walk through the smells of jasmine and freesia, unidentified tree blossoms and the dust on the wind. Nature's perfumes have arrived.

I have started wearing my peach summer dress. I have pulled off and put away two of the four bedspreads from my una y media plaza cama (twin bed). Our daschund is in heat. Lua and I go to the fruit and vegetable market on Tobalaba and Ossa Saturday mornings, and the viejitos flirt with us. We run three days a week.

I went to La Serena over the weekend. We stayed at a house on a hill in Altovalsol, the beginning of Valle del Elqui, a very famous valley for camping (because it is sooooo beautiful). Imagine, if you can, Napa Valley on a beautiful spring day, grape vines soaking up the sun, their green leaves almost becoming transparent in the bright light. Undulating hills of green. Birds flitting and playing and chirping. A hawk soaring overhead in blue, blue sky, the kind of blue they call "calipso." I stayed in house that had a patio and a sun porch overlooking this view. It was a weekend of dancing and reading and staring awe-inspired into the depths of a grandiose scene. My favorite kind of weekend.

It was while looking at this view that I realized how lucky I am to have everything that I have. That life is not perfect. In fact, life's imperfections is what gives it its flavor. I also realized that maybe, though Pollo and I have our differences, it is our differences that give our relationship (or non-relationship, or whatever it is or isn't) its character, its fuerza (strength). Perhaps the blessing of life is not in its easy weekends but in the depths of the struggle, in the flesh that toils, in the collective power of our hearts and minds wanting, needing, striving.

Of course I thought all this while comfortably reading and doing absolutely, um, maybe, the blessing of life really IS the easy weekend.