It was bright, blue, and breezy; I spent an hour in the crisp sunshine chatting with a friend and lazily watching our kids tempt disaster by playing with long sticks and heavy rocks after school; I cut a large yellow bowl-full of sorrel from the garden and made a green soup for dinner. There's more: Frances did her homework and gave herself a bath without complaints, a mama friend took Gabriel on a trip to a nearby wildlife refuge this morning so I could work, I made it to the gym, we left the windows and doors open all afternoon, we danced to some old favorites before dinner and read an old favorite that both kids eagerly wanted to hear before bed.
But none of those things can sufficiently account for it. This day is more than the sum of its parts! It's that sort of day. No fireworks, no parties - just solidly, humbly, and brilliantly terrific. The buzz and brightness of spring infiltrated me completely today, and I don't think I was the only one.
When I put Gabriel to bed he asked for an extra hug and told me he loved me. As I stood in the doorway blowing the requisite three kisses, The Thought came to me - or at least one of The Thoughts that regularly stopped me up short as a child: this day will never happen again. This moment will disappear and there will never be another like it.
I hadn't thought (or is it felt?) that sentiment in quite that way for years. As a kid, my fascination with the irretrievable nature of time sat comfortably and paradoxically next to my persistent eagerness to get on with it and grow up. In my memory, being nine was about pondering the strangeness of time, realizing with some concern the finality of its passing while simultaneously wishing it would speed up a bit so it could be Christmas or fifth grade or time to get my ears pierced already.
It's hard to stop looking ahead. But as I grow older, and the time that has already passed grows longer and more precious, I'm more willing to become absorbed by what is in front of me.
I really, really love today.
By Billy Collins
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.