photo by Sheri Dixon

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Like Simple

Life is hard. It's complex and frustrating and the threads of everyone's needs do not weave together neatly- most of the time the schedules I need to keep up with are all balled up and knotted together, a rat's nest of responsibilities in my head.

By the time I've paid attention to everyone and everything at home and at work I feel fortunate to get 10 minutes alone to read...even if it's while I'm peeing.

But that's ok. I've learned, as a survival tactic, to really ferret out and mentally highlight the best things, the simple, singular things that make my life truly wonderful.

We have a number of sweet gum trees- most of them gigantic sentries one person can't encircle with their arms. None of them have exactly the same hue right now- from spun gold to blood scarlet each and every one of them whispers a different note in autumns' song.

I think the hummingbirds are gone- I haven't seen one in weeks and the feeder is still full. I'm loathe to take it down yet- I have to believe there's one hummingbird out there who's running behind, been delayed, got a late start to wherever they go for the winter...a hummingbird equivalent of myself. And I know that I'd appreciate seeing a beacon of ruby nectar while frantically trying to catch up.

The little things, the simple things.

Laundry seemingly alive on the line- inhaling the breeze and exhaling the scent of laundry soap to and fro, back and forth.

The last walk-through of the house at night- checking the doors, turning off lights, picking up and putting away dog toys and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, tucked in and cozy.

Gazing up at the black velvet night sky shot through with star diamonds.

Watching the nocturnal progression of the moon- first through my office window, then the dining room skylight and finally the bedroom gable window before it disappears behind the cedars.

Standing in the morning shower- hot water from the well without a hint of chlorine, walls of wood, sunshine through the window, river rocks under my feet.

The absolute and complete happiness of coming home- whether I've been gone an hour or a week- just passing through the gate lowers my blood pressure.

The daily comfortable thrill of my horse at the evening feeding, especially if she's grazing at the top of the meadow- I call her name and her head comes up, ears forward, and she flies down the hill on thundering hooves- tail flagging, nostrils flaring- every inch a Queen of the Desert and she graciously deigns to be kissed on the muzzle.

My boy and his dog running across the bridge in search of adventure- one long legged and slender, the other short legged and long.

The world around us is changing and unsteady on its feet.

The world we've made here is safe and sheltering and we are spectators- a family of deer mice snuggled down in fallen leaves while the restless lemmings stream by.

Being of Sicilian heritage, one of the most important simple things is food- food for my family- healthy food to nourish their tummies and hearts.

The other day I made applesauce. I've made it before, but not for a good long while, and never with an audience. The boys watched curiously.

I peeled and cored 6 apples, cutting them into quarters. Placed them in a pan with 1/2 cup water.

Brought it to a boil, turned it to simmer and covered.

Ten minutes later I took it off the stove, added 1/3 cup of sugar and mashed them up with a fork, stirred it up well, scooped it onto the plates next to the pork chops and oven fried potatoes and sprinkled it with cinnamon.

Ward looked at me, incredulous.

"That's it? THAT'S the magic of applesauce???"

Yep. The Simple Magic is the Best Magic.

***bonus points for noticing all 4 rodent references, which were completely random and serve no useful purpose whatsoever***


  1. sounds like a fairy tale...and you get to live it. It's so sweet and simply serene to remember those things that bring us such peace. You have a comforting way about you dear one.

  2. Thank you, jojo- I'm afraid in real practice I've more of a "rabid squirrel caught in a pillowcase" way about me, though. But I'm working on it. Every single day...

  3. I only found 3 rodent references, unless you were thinking ferrets are rodents. Ferrets aren't rodents, they are really part of the Mustelidae family. Rodent eaters.

    Course, I may have missed something.

    I miss you.

  4. well, geez, George- thanks alot. you're right- the ferrets aren't rodents, they're weasels. :P