I have mixed emotions about my slice today. I have just returned from a wonderful family trip with my daughter and two granddaughters (almost one and three years old). We spent half a week with my side of the family and the other half with my husband’s side. All too brief was this visit, but filled with so many good memories. We swam, we saw and petted goats, we played on playgrounds, and we rode on a merry-go-round, in a mall, Ingrid’s first ride! Imogene began crawling all over, so her exploration was phenomenal. Ingrid got to play and sing her songs on a real grand piano, and beat out rhythms on an African slit drum. Because of the drought, we were sorrowful because no lightning bugs appeared, so that will have to be on the next adventure. We ate ice cream every evening and talked into the night. My daughter and I got to talk and talk, then talk some more.
Ingrid became so excited seeing wind turbines, and wanted photo after photo of them, so we slowed and took all that she wished – click, click. “Grandma, can I see?” We looked for red cars and buses and cows, and saw quite a few. We noted all the colors of the cattle-black, black and white, brown. We sang songs and looked for anything we could find of interest on the plains of Kansas. There are many things of beauty, yes, even in a drought, even when it’s over a hundred degrees, even on the plains.
If you notice that I’m speaking of small things and being present in the moment, that is what one does with a three year old. And when one does that, we grown-ups also notice things with a new brightness, a new appreciation.
And I am speaking of the little things because I want to be sure everyone knows to take note, because the big things this year in Colorado have not been good. We have set records: the largest and most destructive forest fire claimed hundreds of structures, twelve days have been over 100 degrees already with very little rain, and, as you must know, the biggest mass shooting since Virginia Tech just occurred in a movie theater. This is tough to write, and I struggled to make up my mind whether even to mention the shooting. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s right to ignore it, and those who suffer from it. And thus my slice of life is kind of an advice column. Life is too short, look for those little things to glory in, hug your family every chance you can, and if you have a friend you are concerned about, try to give him or her a chance to get help. And please send up a little prayer for those who need one.