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El albergue

El albergue

Friday, October 17, 2014

Life's Little Things

So often, “stop and smell the roses” sounds like a run-down cliché, sweet yet almost bereft of meaning at this point. I have been in a season of thankfulness recently though, a season in which all the theoretical roses in the world seem to have opened up for my close and delighted inspection. And I do have to stop and smell each and every one of them, I just can’t help it.

“Laura, you’re not making any sense,” someone mutters under their breath.

Here, let me give you a few examples of a few such roses:

The quiet sunshine resting on my flannel-shirted back as a friend and I clamber through the bushes behind my house to pick wild huckleberries.

Watching the orchids on my dresser bloom.


Spying on the doughty little covey of quail that comes through our back yard, their funny head feathers bobbing about the short grasses as they scratch and peck.

Giving my grandma a hug the morning after her wedding, a sheen of tears in her eyes as she tells me she’s so happy I got to be there to help her celebrate.


Falling asleep on a friend’s living room chair, much-needed repose stealing softly over me as we rest comfortably in each other’s presence.

A hike at MacKerricher Park turning from gray and bone-chilling to bright and beautiful, the ocean’s waves spread out below at the end of our exploring seeming to grow more liquid and light as they tease the shore birds scavenging for lunch in the sands.


Getting the sincerest of warm hugs every Sunday from the pastor’s wife, the kind of hug that wraps you tight inside and out.

Skyping dear friends from the coziness of my bed, wrapped in a blanket, steaming mug of tea in hand, sharing laughs and heartache.

Turning off the radio on my way home from work and just singing, letting out all the emotions jumbled up inside.

These are my roses, and I am reveling in their scent.



Monday, October 6, 2014

The joy of the Earth

Sunshine and the dust of ages floated quietly down through the redwood branches from the spots of blue far overhead. My lungs pulled deep, filling to the brim with the green sweetness of the air. My feet trod lightly on the needle-strewn path winding among gnarled old roots. And I was covered, almost chilled, by the calming shadows of the wood, our pace too meandering to warm my fingers and toes.


As I walked along with my friend Kathy, learning about the different habitats of the Jughandle State Park, I looked about me and just had to smile. It was all so beautiful. Even the trailing groups of school kids on a field trip made the scenery seem more real, rather than detracting with their happy vocal antics. The woods felt alive, close, meant to be lived in and enjoyed, a place to listen and smell and simply absorb.



And the path along the bluffs filled me with complete joy and a sense of being at one with the world. I don’t know what it is about a bracing wind whipping my hair about my ears as waves surge against the rocks below and the sun sets gently on the horizon… but it kind of fills me with this strange energy, this desire to run and leap and sing and dance and beat my fists against my chest as I shout to the skies. In this instance, I settled for a bit of a hop skip here and there and a big cheesy grin pasted across my face, but it was still a pretty perfect moment.