Sunday, June 21, 2009


I adore some things. Adore.

Walking near any body of water.
Picking produce from a garden for dinner.
Mary Oliver's poetry.
Misty mornings on the Oregon coast.
The colors, sights, sounds, and smells of a farmer's market.

Lots more, but that's enough to make my point, which is that simple things make me solidly, thoroughly happy.

My sister went to the farmer's market with Mom and me this morning. Never been before. Probably won't go again: The produce department at the local store is easier. When I pointed out a stall with a particularly beautiful display, she looked at me blankly. "They're vegetables."

She's right, of course. And she couldn't be more wrong. They're vegetables. They're also colors and textures and smells and tastes. They're the fruits of someone's hard work. They're the potential for delicious, nutritious meals. They are simple beauty.

No matter how much my family makes fun of me for it, I am deeply grateful for my ability to take pleasure in simple beauty. It holds me to the Earth when I might otherwise fly off into complete panic over the friends who are seriously ill; my daughter, who is shopping for an engagement ring; my favorite aunt and uncle, who are facing Parkinson's (her) and advancing Alzheimer's (him) without a younger generation to help (their only daughter died at 38); my father, who must have a bronchioscope on Thursday to check out a "narrowing" on his airway.

These are hard things, and when there is anything I can do about them, I do. When there is nothing left to do, I revel in picking fresh basil and composing a beautiful tomato mozzarella salad.

If that makes me simple minded, I'm okay with that.


BONNIE K said...

I loved this post, and found it to be so true. I just walked out in the yard to check out my vegetable garden, and my beautiful blonde cat followed me out there, and I just thought "I love this." Life's simple pleasures ARE the best.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I'm a big fan of the simple minded.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Less time with sister.

More time with vegetables.


kario said...

Ditto Michelle.

Thank goodness you are strong enough to stick to your guns and continue enjoying what you love.

Love you!

Amber said...

YOU are simply beautiful. Inside and out.

I agree with Michelle.


George said...

I love Mary Oliver's poetry, too...and the sight of my new puppy discovering something new in his existence every day.

cheryl said...

Your sister - not a writer?

Writers (artists) notice things, details, shapes, textures, how the light falls on the strawberries, the tomatoes. They listen for how words fall in a conversation - between the sun-worn farmer and the scraggly-haired woman holding a cucumber.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm simply with you and simply love you. Oregon coast? Aren't you missing it? We have great farmers' markets here. Beautiful ones.

Doubting Thomas said...

MIchelle has it pegged exactly right.

Why worry about the opinion of somebody who is blind to wonder?