Laundry drying on the clothesline, jeans turning stiff, towels flapping like prayer flags. Peonies drooping under the weight and fragrance of crimson and pink petals. A newborn’s lips like a bow and a tiny, chubby hand curled around a father’s chapped finger. Melted, dark chocolate chips cratering a freshly-baked cookie. Rolls of hay like giant shredded wheat bundles dotting pastures. Clouds chasing each other across the sky.
And these things matter to me. My dog’s ears, soft as the finest silk. A golden maple leaf suspended in the air by a barely visible spider thread. My husband’s tears at our wedding, my son’s tears at his, and my dad’s tears as he eased one end of a gurney down the back steps to the ambulance waiting to rush my mom to the hospital. A city that stays loyal to its baseball team for over a century of losses. The satisfying snap of chewing gum when it bubbles in my mouth. Muscles aching after stretching, lifting, twisting, pushing and pulling.
And these things matter to me. Sitting with friends around a campfire, stories weaving with swirls of smoke, punctuated by the shift and pop of logs. Cats curled like yin and yang, dozing in the sun. Thick, yellow cream filling the milk-bottle neck. A laugh that starts low in the belly, gurgles up the windpipe, and ends in crinkled eyes, bathed in tears. The whoosh of blue-gray heron wings as spindly legs descend to the ground.
These things matter to me, too. Firs bowing toward grasses dried by salty sea-spray, lashed by winds from the north. Chocolate lilies signaling spring’s return. Candle-flame dancing in crystal glasses. A wool afghan from my chin to my toes when the winter sun disappears at 4:30 pm. Raspberries dropping into my palms at the slightest touch. Moments, hours, days, of silence, alone or with others, deep breaths, worries and doubts shushed in the quiet.