I love my parents more all the time for their appreciation of beauty. "Who wants to see something pretty?" Olivia Walton asks her family after finding her Christmas cactus blooming in The Homecoming, and every Christmas when I watch the movie--it is one of my favorites--I think of my parents. "Dad!" I called into the house while Mom and I sat out on the deck last week, "You should come see this sunset. It's gorgeous!" It didn't at all surprise me to hear him promptly push his footstool away from his chair in the living room to come join us. I love that not only wasn't I surprised that Dad put his crossword puzzle aside to look at a pretty sky, but also that I'd called out to him already knowing that that would be the case: It was a given. I come from people who appreciate beauty. This fireball of a sunset was only embers on the horizon after just a few minutes, making the watching of it with my parents all the sweeter.
Not everyone does appreciate it, I have learned. Not everyone jumps up to look when news of a striking sunset or sunrise or moon or vibrant Cardinal-in-a-tree is shared. And what a sad and shabby way of living that has to be. Whether it is the flash of the red bird against the snow-heaped branch or the flaming sunset over the neighbor's house, after all, it is flitting. As Mike well-knows, one of my biggest pet peeves at work is my asking someone how his or her day is going and hearing in response an Eeyore-like "It's going." Gah! Typically, those who answer once with "It's going" answer every time with "It's going" too, I've noticed. Life is just passing for them, and there they are just dragging themselves along with it, ball with chain. "It's going." GAH! It's going, all right. Shake a leg, wise up, this matters, this is it, come look at the *&$@%# sunset!
A thank you to all of you, then, who share your home (and is Jane's home not the dearest!? ♥), your yard (← that is one of my favorite photos that talented Lisa has shared over the years), your garden (bliss!), your holiday traditions (love!) and holiday tables (so cozy and colorful! Cheryl's! love!), your passions (and your smile, Margaret!), your party-planning (everything Melissa touches is lovely), your determination to become your best self (my favorite line of this post highlights why I so love Heather's blog: "Life right now is about recognizing small victories so I took a moment, spiked a football and then got down on one knee and pointed to the sky." Ha! Writing that shines ♥), your poetry (← a favorite writer), your family (this story! ♥), your sunlight (gorgeous first photo, that!), your self-care rituals (and most-everything eighty-something-year-old Ernestine posts is an inspiration), your love of history (← a treasure-trove of research), your miracles and wonders (so much big-hearted goodness in Yankee's posts), and even your (darling) picnics. . . .Oh, I love it all, I'm grateful for it all, I could go on all day. With every shared word and photo, you prove your life is not just "going." Beautiful.