September 26, 2013

As Long as it Lasts

perfect day

It's such a perfect day! I said this to myself under clear blue skies and sunshine with a hint of a cool fall breeze and I realized just how often this phrase comes to mind. Perhaps most often on sunny, clear days but it made me think about how each of these days is different and yet I group them all in the "perfect" category. Then I started to think about what I could possibly mean by perfect. I probably use the word too liberally. I rarely strive for perfection, but I find it often in the small, sometimes fleeting moments.

If you've read any of my posts here, you probably know how much I relish my time in the kitchen. Standing at the counter preparing food, especially if I have plenty of time to do it, is one of my favorite things to do. On one of these perfect fall afternoons, I filled a pot with apples and let them simmer into sauce. I chopped some onions and leeks, tossed them in another pot and cut kernels off a dozen ears of corn. With Amos sleeping, Ray at work in the other room, the blue blue sky and the fall air coming through the screen, I breathed in that perfect moment.

In a recent article, Delia Ephron wrote about the struggle and wish to have it all and whether that is even possible. She wrote about how having it all might only happen in small moments of our lives but in those moments we have peace of mind and we don't feel like we need more. I think that is what I find when I stumble into a perfect moment.

I abandoned my cooking projects when Amos woke up. We went for a walk in the woods while Ray rode his fat bike on the trails. We got home later than I would have liked, leaving not much time to finish making dinner. I dashed around the kitchen, adding to the dishes piled up in the sink feeling frustrated that I hadn't gotten things ready earlier when I had time. Then I heard Amos laughing gleefully as Ray played with him in the bedroom.

Standing in the midst of a kitchen mess, trying to pull dinner together, I remembered the smell of pine trees in the woods and the late afternoon sun dappling the path. I thought of that hour earlier in the afternoon when I felt relaxed and at peace as I chopped and stirred. I am not the greatest at being present in each moment but today I was lucky to have so many perfect moments. It would have been nice if the kitchen was clean and the soup already ladled into two bowls. It would have been amazing if the dishes were done and the dried spit up cleaned off the floor. It is impossible for things to be perfect all the time and usual for things to be mostly imperfect. So when the moment feels perfect, even when is is surrounded by challenges or chaos I embrace that moment and let it embrace me for as long as it lasts.

perfect day

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