Occasions of our lifetimes connect the dots of our lifelines.
Childhood to middle-stages – cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and later, smaller nuclear families.
Mealtime feeding-frenzies – all-day grazing – the brunch, the dinner, the snacks, and leftovers. Turkey-bacon. Turkey carving. The grown-ups table, the kids’ table. Funny hats, Christmas-crackers to pull, hard nuts to crack, Trivial Pursuit and card games to play, candy to eat. Dogs and cats wander in hungry, wander out fed. Add video binge-watching and jigsaw puzzles – noisy gatherings punctuated by giggling children and grandchildren.
Every year before yesterday, Christmas days’ massive meals, many mouths around a table – overlapping conversations, some tears, some hurts. Happy noises. Over-eating, naps, more eating, you get the picture …
Everyone’s circle grown tighter, self-isolation, masks, distancing, and Zoom calls. Fewer packages, fewer mall visits, last-minute online shopping – no cashier lineup waiting.
Just as consideration rings or knocks at unexpected times, calls, and kind notes too – people reached out to make my day and life better yesterday.
Kindliness, wrapped in generous thoughtfulness, tied with memory ribbons, visceral as any summer’s day or wintery afternoon, recalled and enjoyed all over again.
Gestures of kindness not sold in stores matter more than things. The best feast is a large helping of warm feelings smothered, not in gravy, but in gratitude that shows up unannounced.
Small courtesies. Profound import. Several yesterday – kind notes, kind calls, kind actions – some expected, some surprises, lucky me!
My near-empty emotion tank now filled up – thank you, family, thank you, friends.
Inhale them raw, swallow whole.
Happiness and thoughtfulness assembled without fanfare – a handful of grapes could easily sustain me.