Day 20: A Phone Call, a Breathing Meditation & a Beagle

Five PM: Phone call with one of my best writing friends, Jacqueline. There is wonder in hearing her voice, learning how she is, sharing common mishaps, new joys, and perseverance. Conversations with friends leave a wonder filled with joy; we do not do this life alone.

Eight PM: Baby boy is asleep. Nick shows me a new breathing/meditation technique — Wim Hof Method. Nick held his breath for over 2 minutes, I held mine for 1:45. It’s surprising to remember what the body is capable of in terms of breath. During the activity I pictured myself smiling while swimming underwater in an Olympic length pool.

Nine PM: I scroll on Facebook and see the last beagle baby of my (deceased) beagle Sasha’s puppies had passed. Her name is Lexi. A family friend picked her out of the litter about fourteen or fifteen years ago. I was a sophomore in high school. I remember being so happy to see the babies healthy and here. Lexi was sisters with Maddie, the puppy we chose from the litter, who passed in winter 2018. I look at Lexi’s face and remember my girl, Sasha, who passed in 2015, two months before my wedding. And Maddie. I was reminded of the wonder of my love for animals — here and gone.

Three wonders for a Monday.

Here’s Lexi. And her mom, Sasha, in 2012.

Lexi, 2019
Sasha, 2012

Day 9: Wonder Moon in January

The moon is brilliant. We are two days from a full moon, and I can tell we are getting close.

Today has been a little stressful. I am moving out of my office at the university because they will be renovating and asbestos will be flying everywhere. I don’t want to be near any of that, but will have to be for classes.

So tonight, I just needed a moment with the moon.

Also, a friend told me she felt a sense of wonder when her cat fell asleep on her feet. What did I say, cats are the best.

Day 6: A Canceled Flight, A New Perspective

When our plane touched down in Oklahoma, I was sleeping. Like one of those tilt-your-head-back and catch the flies kind of sleeps. Reader: I never sleep in public places (and half the time I have trouble sleeping in bed). So you can bet I was some kind of exhausted.

Our flight the night before had been canceled due to mechanical errors, so American rebooked us for the next morning. At first I was annoyed (it was so AMERICAN of them….they do this to us a lot). But then I was relieved. One more day at home in California. One more day with family.

That night (the extra one) I went with my mom and dad to my dad’s work party. Since he retired from being a Principal, he became a banquet bartender at a fancy hotel. The hotel was throwing their annual holiday party. Last year I was able to go too — so it felt special to be able to go again.

During the loud ’00s dance music, and while my dad played Blackjack with fake money, my mom and I walked the property. We found a jacuzzi and slipped off our shoes, and shared a few moments together while looking at the stars. It was one of those picturesque scenes out of the movies — a mother and daughter connecting. With three other siblings, a husband, a dad, and a son, it’s rare for my mom and I to be able to just sit uninterrupted. And it was lovely. (It was also fun seeing my dad mingle with his hotel co-workers….he loves a good time.)

(As I write this my mom is FaceTime-ing me. She must know I’m writing about her!)

On our drive home to our little town of Stillwater, OK, from the airport, it felt good to be back. That’s a mini-miracle all on its own. Because to be honest, living here can sometimes feel….different. So the shift in perspective was a welcomed one.

And to really grasp today’s wonder, when I came home, our friends who were watching our cat and plants left us donuts. AND (the best yet) one of my orchids (one that I wasn’t sure about) sprouted a new branch. A teeny branch, which will grow into a full stem, sprouting new buds, to finally BLOOM. Orchids are my soul flowers. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about them this year.

Day 2: Wonder of Childhood Friendships

Today was a day of friendship. The morning began with a visit from my college friend, Jenna, who brought her four-month-old baby, Bodhi for us to meet. He is everything sweet and snuggly and strong. I forget the built-in joy that enters a room with a happy baby. Later, my childhood friend, Matt, and his wonderful wife, Jeannette, brought their three-year-old daughter, Madison.

It was wonderful to watch my son be awestruck by baby Bodhi this morning. Then it was really cool to watch him and Madison play in my parents’ backyard. They ran up the hill to swing, jumped on the trampoline, played with my old “people house,” and shared goldfish. My mom said she had flashbacks from when Matt and I were three and two, running through the backyard playing, too.

Life presents us with generations of friendships as this unexpected gift. Adulthood can come with its challenges, but there is something magical about watching your friend’s kid and your kid play. It’s almost like they are built for each other, like the friendship of their parents is in their own genes. I wonder if this is true.

Tonight, we are still filling our cups, spending quality time with family and friends before heading back to Oklahoma. We are enjoying every minute.

Bennett (2) and Madison (3)
Baby Bodhi and Bennett