I am an old soul for many reasons.
At the baseball game Jake and I went to with some friends on Memorial Day, I couldn't have been more delighted that the National Anthem was sung, not by some pop-y Lady Gaga-esque entertainer, but by a barbershop a cappella quartet of graying old men. I love a cappella groups! And I love old things (and old people!), and sometimes I feel very out of place in my generation for being this way.
I admit it, I'm a strange bird.
Yesterday, I was early to pick up Charlie from school, so I sat on a bench in the nearby park and watched a squirrel for a full twenty minutes. It occurred to me then, as I was watching the scampering, bushy-tailed creature fully submerge himself in a pile of leaves and go tunneling through them, like a curious toddler beneath a blanket, and then as he playfully popped his head up with a sudden jerk and I laughed out loud - yes, it occurred to me then what a peculiar sort of person I really am. I mean, truly. How many women in their mid-twenties, when presented with an extra few minutes to kill during the day, would choose to spend it on a park bench watching a squirrel?
Not many, I dare say. Not when there's a Starbucks a block over and an iPod in your purse. But whatev., this is the person I am and I kinda like myself for it.
I like that I still actually bake cookies to welcome new neighbors, though apparently that's unheard of these days. I didn't realize just how odd of a practice this was until recently when I happened to mention it in passing conversation with a friend and she stared at me and then snorted and said, "Really? Who does that?"
Uh, I don't know. I do? Guess that's not normal?
She laughed and said maybe in the 1950's.
So there you have it, friends. I was born in the wrong era. But all joking aside, I really do lament the fact, at least a little, that modern life, with all its undeniably wonderful advancements and opportunities, has also in some ways stripped us of appreciating the simple pleasures. Or often even of noticing them.
The beauty of a handwritten note.
The plumpish squirting of cherry tomatoes in my salad.
Sitting on the porch as the first rays of light emerge, hazy on the horizon, surrounded by plants that I myself have tended from seed.
A cup of tea in a hot pink thermos with a drop of local honey.
The tinkling sound of the bangles on my wrist.
Walking barefoot through slightly dewy grass.
Today is National "Go Barefoot" Day.
(Don't ask me how I know these things.)
And I encourage you, at some point before the day is through, to consciously slip off your shoes - and socks, too, if you're wearing them - and feel the ground against the bare souls of your feet. I'm not a hippie. I'm not going to tell you to "connect with the earth", but there's something to be said for taking a moment to be exactly where you are. And just breathing.
And appreciate wherever you're at.