Being a post in which I shall enumerate just a few morsels of counted blessing. The tiny things that make me happy, usually. Because it's always worth attempting the impossible occasionally - like trying to count one's blessings.
Mornings. My last real relationship with early mornings in the very early 80's involved porridge and heating my ugg boots on the grate of the one-bar heater on the kitchen floor before being bundled tracksuitedly off to swimming training just as the sun came up. 5 days a week. To be repeated after school. There were saving graces, but really it put me off the early hours for some time. That and musician's hours later on. Then with intubation last year I needed to get up early so I could space my feeds out enough over the day and not have to go to midnight every night. Now, even as winter draws steadily onward, it's a favourite time. Birdsong, pale dawn light, and the odd hot air balloon.
The theme tune to Dead Like Me. I rented the DVD of the first series of Dead Like Me to take into respite with me last time, because it looked interesting. I'd never heard of it before. Turns out, it was a great series (only 2 seasons, sad) following a group of characters who, following their deaths, become grim reapers whose job it is to help remove the souls of those just about to die. It's a sitcom, btw. I'll probably blog more on it sometime, but quite possibly the greatest part is the kick-ass theme tune by Stewart Copeland (the drummer from The Police). I can even say it's better than the Seinfeld one, funky and ear-wormy as it was.
The sound of two handfuls of kindling. It takes me forever these days and would be hilarious for a fly-on-the-wall to behold, but every week or so I split a supply of kindling for our wood stove. Our firewood is of mixed species, a fair bit of it salvaged fence posts and telephone poles, and there's a small percentage of very old, very dry jarrah in there, which I try and use for half the kindling. When I'm done, Meeta usually helps me pick it all up and I quietly revel in the xylophone-ish tinkle of the rough cords of wood as they jostle about in our hands. It's a sound of distance and age, it reminds me of noises far away in a hushed forest - and it's also the sound of the tightly woven grain of stored life energy, just perfectly ready for its blissful luminous release back into the grand carbon cycle of life on Earth.
Trains nearby. I'm not and never have been a trainspotter but I've always liked having them nearby. Most of my wheatbelt homes have been close to train lines. I get train nerds, I really do, but I can't explain it. I know someone who lived right beneath a suburban train line (as in the line was on an embankment 10 metres past the back fence). She woke suddenly one night, weirdly concerned and discombobulated. It took a while to work out what was wrong. The trains had stopped, a strike had been called and the 11:45 had not come past. You get really used to trains. We have two lines close by, and I love the sound of them doing their thing. For me having a goods line nearby always feels like I'm further from everything than I probably am, and I like this. Not always the best way to get somewhere, but a wonderful way to travel. Besides, something interesting always happens on a train. I would like to be a goods train driver.
It's not the big things, really, is it? I mean breathing, love, friends, children, all of that stuff is of course the stuff that sort of shapes our lives, so we think, when it's time for gratitude. It's the little stuff. Getting the AM radio tuned just right. A full woodbasket (you'll be sick of that one before winter's out for sure). Finding that a cafe in a tiny country town makes the best coffee you have ever tasted, and I mean ever. Then going next door to the tiny charity shop and finding an as-new Irish wool houndstooth sports jacket that fits perfectly for $2.00. And they will accept $5.00, thanks.
That's the stuff you remember.
"I meant" said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that makes living truly worth while?" Death thought about it.
"CATS." he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE."
- Terry Pratchett.