Today started out with lots of little annoyances, including a tendinitis flare-up in my elbow, from working on my upright freezer to prepare it to be hauled off. And from hacking frost and ice off the food to prepare it to go into the new freezer.
Now I’m waiting for the delivery of the new machine (and what a useful homemakey blessing that is!), and as just about every sort of housework I need to do is irritating this elbow, I sat down to read some poems.
Wendy Cope has written quite a few that I only recently discovered with delight, and here is one about enjoying the little things, and how one’s mood can help in that endeavor. It’s from an anthology put together by Garrison Keillor, titled Good Poems, which some of my children pooled their resources to buy me for Christmas many years ago. Wasn’t that sweet?
As I’m forced to slow down and leave many things undone today, it’s the perfect reminder. It seems to me it works both ways: If you stop fretting about the past or the future, enough to see what is around you and notice what or Who is near right now, it can improve your perspective and give you some helpful momentum for noticing more lovely ordinary things.
This poem also carried a couple of specific gratitude pokes for me: the thought of how many gorgeous big oranges I have eaten in my life, picked from my father’s trees. And the wonder of having children who would give me a book of poems.
by Wendy Cope
At lunchtime I bought a huge orange–
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave–
They got quarters and I had a half.
And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.
The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.