Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I sit with a neighbor I love and talk.
I listen to the students who inspire.
I look for the sun when it rises and the sun when it falls.
I prepare my home for the return of my son.
I celebrate the news, and the dreams, of friends.
Here beside me as I type sits Moments of Being: Reflections from an Ordinary Life, a collection of essays from Katrina Kenison. You know Katrina because you read her hugely popular blog, or because you have read her three books (Mitten Strings for God, The Gift on an Ordinary Day, Magical Journey), or because you have met her in your travels as a student or a friend.
You know Katrina.
When Katrina decided to assemble these—shall we call them letters? yes, letters—first written to readers on her blog, she chose to build a book that is as physically beautiful as it is soul leavening. Gorgeous paper. Beautiful spine. Careful typesetting. It's all Katrina, through and through, in a book that asks us to stop, to see, and to appreciate. Here, for example, is Katrina reflecting on a party she threw in her peaceful home:
There was a moment, a kind of Mrs. Dalloway moment, when I just stopped, stood stock-still, and looked around at the loveliness of the scene. The men were in the kitchen drinking beer. The women were outside, chatting. The boys were juggling—a skill they all learned together in sixth and seventh grade and suddenly, spontaneously, decided to revive at ages seventeen and eighteen. Clubs flew through the air. A fiercely competitive badminton game was in progress. A group of girls sat at the picnic table, deep in conversation....We have a responsibility, this Thanksgiving, to love out loud, to yield the floor, to listen. We have a responsibility to look for and find beauty, because that will strengthen us, that will enliven us, that will help us find not just hope but a right path forward.
Today, I promised myself this: More time for fun. More spur of the moment parties, before it's too late and the younger generation is up and out and gone for good. More fires outside, more s'mores, more reasons to celebrate the joy of being alive, of raising children to young adulthood, of spending time with those young adults—who, after all, are still learning from us, each and every day, what it means to live a good life.
There is beauty in Katrina's way of seeing, her way of being. You can order her book directly here.