Life Comes at You Fast

Bottle Drip Souffle (if you aren't a Harter, don't ask)I was talking to a friend last week about how crazy my life is and how many people tend to quantify happiness by how much they do instead of how much they enjoy.  It kind of hit me in the face today.

Like my post about having dinner the other night.  I actually took the pictures knowing that Amy and I would like to blog it.  It reminded me of when I was seventeen and tromping around in Europe.  (Stay with my squiggly line of thought here.)

With my French class from high school, we toured all over France by coach.  We were particularly tired one day and were going through the motions of being in gorgeous Montmartre.  Our tour guide was Dutch- Albert- and he spoke softly but with humor and intelligence that really helped me learn about France.  He stood at the front of the coach and elegantly described where we were, and that while we were napping in the coach, all of France was passing by us.  With sleepy eyes, I watched as the poppies zoomed past my window, mad he was talking while I tried to sleep.  Some students picked up their cameras to snap pictures of the poppies on the roadside.    “No,” Albert said, “sometimes you must put down your camera and just look.  Just be.  Some of the best moments do not happen through a camera lens.”

While Albert also spent some time teaching me lessons I didn’t want to learn, this one was powerfully true.  I watched the poppies, still speeding merrily past me, and watched the colors blend- red, black, purple, green.  We’d visited Monet’s gardens and the poppies reminded me of one of his paintings: fantastic reality in a blur of color. 

Fast forward to today.  I’ve been living some moments of my life thinking about how to tell their story instead of just living them.  When I stop doing and stop working and just live- just be– the real meat of life happens.

My sister was hospitalized today.  No, it’s not serious; yes, she’ll be fine (she had the wherewithal to snap the pic of her IV).  But she needed me to watch her son for her and, when he slept, to make her soup and to talk to her and to give her medicine when she needed it.  We chatted about nothing in particular and I kept her from getting out of bed (if you know her, this is no small feat).  I was just with her.  Not trying to do anything really except keep her company and talk, or even just be quiet.  Those moments are the kind that I will remember forever.

So I’m not going to work tomorrow, and I’m going to spend all day taking care of her at her house.  And I will not try to do any work or any thing, I will

just

be.