Bits of Grace

I follow Rachel Devenish Ford’s blog, called Journey Mama,  Her words and life and children with beautiful hippy names inspire me.  She started recently to post about five things every day:

These things can be bits of grace, they can be funny things, they can be frustrating things.  These are the things you pull out of your pocket, at the end of the day, and arrange on your night table. These are the thoughts and memories you gather throughout the day. These are the things you paste in your journal. There are no rules, really, I just want to write about five things, to jog my brain and memory and not forget– it’s the not forgetting that’s the most important— these years are an avalanche of challenges and gifts and I want to remember it all.

I loved Rachel’s last story about going out to get donuts for her family’s breakfast and waiting for the singing man to make them while she sat with a woman who was stroking a rooster under her arm to calm it. The incredible thing about life is that while it’s daily and relentless, it has these bizarre, stranger-than-fiction moments that deserve to be shared and savored. It made me think it would be fun to try something like Rachel’s five points a day, only to make it more do-able, I’ll start with two things. Maybe not every day, but maybe more frequently than has been my tendency.

1. Yesterday our friend gave us a bag of coffee her friends from Jordan gave her. Well, we think it’s coffee. We can’t read the language on the package. It smells like a mixture of coffee and tea, and has leaves like tea in it and a lot of cardamom. We made some this evening, with milk and sugar in it. I sipped it while I read Anne’s House of Dreams to Jewel. It had the consistency of tea, maybe because I made it too weak, but it was a comforting drink with a lovely strangeness. My motto is that I’ll try to taste anything at least once, and like most new flavors turn out to be, it was a pleasure.

2. This week’s project-on-the-go is making a pumpkin out of a discarded book. Great fun for my inner child who loves cutting and pasting and messing around with paint. Today I sat in an open doorway, letting sun and (unseasonably) warm breezes in while I painted the rounded edges of the pages. Later in class while I was being a semi-dignified, semi-knowledgeable ESL teacher of dignified adults, I happened to glance down and see that my right palm still had a carrot-orange tinge on it. Like the self-tan spray that some girls use. This girl, however, gets her tans honestly, and the orange sheen felt so foreign. But it amused me and I didn’t regret having painted in the sunshine.