One. I love trees. There is countless poetry with odes to roses and daisies and while they’re lovely in their own right, trees are the moon to their stars. Like the beautiful old oak outside my condo window. When we moved in it was covered in lush green leaves, within weeks they turned crimson, then barren and now, today, I looked out and saw small buds, the promise of renewal for another year. Waleed and I love settling down to our box seats on the couch to watch squirrels play, woodpeckers peck, and blue birds rest before moving on. I love seeing it at different times of the day and different states of being such as with wind raking its leaves, or rain pelting its bare limbs. It is one tree but it is never always the same. Admittedly as beautiful as this tree is, were I to have such a view from my owned residence I would worry about its proximity to the house, the branches that need to be shorn and the state of its flower bed come spring. But none of this is my responsibility, and while I certainly hope we’re not still living in this condo overlooking this tree for too many more seasons to come, right now, it’s a pleasure to have the company of this tree. I don’t research trees, don’t know a maple from a myrtle and I’m honestly just guessing its an oak. But oak feels stately, oak feels old and wise, and when I see this tree I see the quiet wisdom of one that has seen everything, that watches without judgment as it continues its branchy ascent to the sky.
Two. My parents love tea so I love tea so it seems Waleed loves tea, or at least the sight of us drinking tea together. In Florida, he deeply desired to join us with a cup of his own and no a plastic sippy cup just wouldn’t cut it. I wish I knew why even in this day and age toys are gender identified for girls and boys. Like strollers, they’re in the ‘girl’ section of Target and they’re all pink. As are upon my research, tea sets with descriptions of your little girl will enjoy hosting tea parties. Regardless, I purchased one you can actually drink out of, made from recycled products [and in the USA] that I saw Waleed and Bean playing with at Baraka‘s house and though Waleed could care less about the colors of his pink and purple tea set and is far too young to read the descriptions of this perfect toy for a perfect little girl, I’m glad he can nurture his gentler side by making tea, and strolling his baby giraffe in the [yes, pink] stroller. When he’s fully grown wouldn’t I expect him to make his own tea or stroll his own baby? Why learn that lesson later when its so easy and so incredibly fun to learn it now?
Three. It’s been cold, miserable, and rainy these past few days. I used to say I loved winter, but that was when I lived in Florida and winters consisted of a light parka and a chance to bust out the leather boots. Winter, real winter, is no such thing and while it’s milder here than it was in my days in Michigan, bleak landscapes of gray clouds and soggy grass tend to put a brick in the pit of my stomach. Until, Waleed. Last year I attributed my cheerful disposition to nursing since oxytocin is said to elevate mood and dreaded the next winter with the happy hormones out of my system. But so far, so good. I think part of it is that with a baby there is no time to sink into oneself and let the gloominess outside settle into you. There is apple sauce to pour, and ‘piano recitals’ to applaud. Studies show the more you move the less you brood and perhaps a baby helps force one to move more than they might otherwise. But the other part is it doesn’t hurt to have Waleed to study from. It’s cliche that I’ve learned so much from him, but the truth is I have and its not more clear than on gloomy dark days like today. He is the definition of living in the moment. Cognitively, for him, this moment is all there is. When he sees a squirrel flinging itself from branch to branch, he doesn’t pause to compare it with other jumping squirrels or it’s relative coolness to animals at large, he just sees something joyful and he smiles and he’s happy because this moment is all there is. When he’s happy about going on the swing, or strolling his baby giraffe, he is in that moment the happiest he could possibly feel. And, well, me? I guess I’m affected by the company I keep:
Beautiful old trees, pink tea cups and joy, unbounded, limitless joy. Despite the bumpy rough parts to this particular day, these are the moments worth remembering. Hope you have a beautiful Thursday too.