(Because these past weeks have been littered with sorrow and I am in need of a bit of light to wade through the darkness.) i. Birthdays. The first to come to mind is my own a few days ago; while I have never been a fan of such events, mainly due to my persistent knack for forgetting all about them and consequently being unpleasantly surprised when they appear, I must confess that birthdays are growing on me. Something a little magic in packages under your breakfast plate, endless social media wishes, the glint in someone's eye as they sing happy birthday to you, loudly and joyfully off-key. Something a little magic in the act of celebrating your own existence: you are here, you've put one foot in front of the other for another 365 days, and how excited we are to see what wonders you spin in the year to come.
ii. Coffee dates. I am an admitted over-user of the classic we should grab a coffee sometime - yet I find that so many deeply beautiful conversations occur nestled in the corner of my favourite cafés with people who seem infinitely alive over a hot drink and a wide table. Rather ironically, it seems people become so much more human when whisked away from the bustle of humanity and instead sat across from you sipping a hot drink of their choice. Hands dancing, lips moving, all of these things we learn from each other when we take the time to listen. And we look up and is it dark already? I can't believe how much time we've spent here. It is impossible to count the number of times I have fallen in love with people over their coffee-date selves.
iii. This quote that has been bouncing against the walls of my mind since I heard it earlier this week, uttered from the mouth of an earnest fourth grader at the elementary school library I volunteer in who, after I recommended a book to him, looked up at me and said, endearingly solemn: "I like your soul."
iv. The sound of rain on a tin roof, which is comforting for no particular reason whatsoever and all the more beautiful because of it.
v. Reading a book from your childhood. And feeling the wonder of it shiver up your spine, all the lovelier when combined with that old familiarity, the newness of something that feels as if it has existed for as long as time itself. Childhood books are fuel for the softest souls: they make me open my eyes a little wider, pay attention to the smallest & most gorgeous details I would have neglected otherwise. If you give yourself permission to read childhood books then you give yourself permission to dance barefoot on the sidewalk, spend a rapturous afternoon tracking the path of a single ant, try to follow a rainbow to the end of it, all of those things that only children are allowed to do. Books make us into children again, in the best possible way.
vi. People who pick you up and/or twirl you around when they hug you. I think there is something so funny and wonderful in having such excitement for hugging. I too would like to express the same enthusiasm, but alas, I am desperately shy and also have anxiety disorders, so I must restrain myself. But when others do it, how loved it makes you feel. How honoured that someone is this delighted by the fact of your presence.
vii. The lighting in autumn months just before sunset. How you want to capture it in a glass jar and keep it for always, the soft-harsh dust specks floating through the air, like you are on the border between somewhere and everywhere. But it is ephemeral, as all true things are. So you content yourself with existing in it for now, while it lasts, until the sun winks itself to sleep.
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