Last night we stayed in Kelowna with some long-time friends (isn't that term nicer than "old" friends?) and we spent a very relaxed evening reminiscing with them in their gorgeous new house. It made me grateful for the connections we make with people, and even though our lives are filled with change and distance, when we are together it's as if we've never been apart. There are no fears of awkward conversation gaps or pauses; just 4 people sitting on a patio on a summer evening, talking and talking until it was finally time to go to bed.
This morning we began the eight hour drive home. Our kids are seasoned at this BC to Alberta commute, and settle in quickly for the long drive. Jason had a client to meet in Vernon, so we got a Tim Horton's breakfast, and he dropped me and the kids off at a small park for a short play while he had his meeting.
I sat on the bench, extra-large coffee in hand, and watched my children play. They ran and they giggled, making up imaginary games with silly talk punctuating their play. The sky was so blue it almost hurt to look at it, and there wasn't a cloud in sight. The air was hot on my skin, even at 9 am, and the sun was soothing and immediately raised my spirits. My coffee tasted incredibly good, even better than usual, because I was in a new park in Vernon on a Wednesday morning in July, and all of my senses were engaged.
We don't need money or success or good looks to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I experienced utter luxury with all of my senses awakened this morning, and it wasn't tied to anything I was doing. The only reason I noticed it at all was because I slowed down and plugged in to what we were doing. There was no rushing or accomplishing or working. There was just being. Sitting, watching, tasting, hearing, smelling and luxuriating in all of it.
Suddenly I was too engaged to sit still. I set down my coffee and went to join them, sneaking up behind William and tickling him, sending him into gales of laughter, then chasing Ava and challenging her to a race up the spiderweb of ropes and over the balance beam. We all scrambled up to the 3 slides, and went down in a race, side by side, shouting when we reached the bottom. I was ridiculously out of breath when my kids could've run all day, but I was actually having fun. The kind you don't have to think about, but you just experience somewhere deep in your body and your soul.
I'm not sure I'll ever forget what happened in that park this morning. I think I made a memory that my kids will hold for as long as they are alive, because it was so unexpected for me to jump off that bench and join in. I plan to do that more often. And I turned a simple, ordinary situation into something that brushed the divine, simply by paying a little attention, and joining in to what my kids already do naturally and very well.
Thank you for your patience with my late blog posts while I was on vacation. This one is the latest of them all, but I'll be back on track tomorrow morning. Thank you for continuing to read, and for writing on my Facebook wall when you didn't see a post. I really appreciate each and every one of you, and love to hear from you.