Laura Ingalls Wilder said, “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
There are seasons of life during which certain ideas resonate with your soul, they meet you perfectly where you are, and they define who and what you are about in that moment. Even if you have placidly agreed, nodded because such and such was said and you thought it was true and nice and then moved on after you pinned it on your quotes board on Pinterest, it didn't hit you in the heart until... it did. And then words are more than just words, and they shape you, they echo in your mind as you go about your day, like a beautiful song you've heard once and want to listen to again and again.
I've always been a "simple things" kind of girl. My sister and I joke that we are have really been little old ladies in disguise our whole lives, because we would rather drink tea and knit and read a good book and take walks in the woods and listen to quiet music than go to a party, even when going to a party may have been more socially acceptable for our age. I'm always reminded of that scene in Gilmore Girls when the headmaster of her school is worried that Rory hangs out alone and reads too much. It makes me chuckle.
I've always been a loner, and I've always been a reader. In college, my adventure was sitting in Barnes and Noble, hunched over my sketch book, drawing rugged and lined faces from photography books. Or driving past the city limits, taking a random turns to see where sun-drenched paths would lead me, Radiohead blasting through the speakers of my mini-van. (Yes, I had a mini-van when I was in college.) Alone, always alone (but not lonely).
Now, as a mother, my adventures consist of googling what that strange plant is for my curious five-year-old, getting "lost" in the two-acre wooded area a mile away from my home with a baby strapped to my back and two short-legged people who are somehow much faster than I. I could not, would not ask for anything different. After all, these simple things, this is what life is.
These simple things, they are what I will remember.
You only get eighteen summers with your children. Eleven or twelve, if you want to count the summers they will for sure want to spend with you. Fifteen, if you're lucky. Eighteen... well, you could force them into eighteen. (I kid.)
So, as I pack away newborn clothes that belong to a certain little girl whose growing up I have so been in denial about, I take pictures to remember every moment, these building blocks of memories that will make up the very best days of my life.
The things I won't remember are the things I think I want some days. The things I will remember are the things I already have, the things that make my life rich.
And the way the simple pleasures in life accentuate those things must be by design. The dusty light cutting through the shadows in a forest. Fingerpicking a folk song on a guitar. The smell of damp leaves underfoot, a bright flower breaking through, quiet strength and tiny miracle often unnoticed. Lace. Dandelion seeds. Shades of green. Waves of grass in the breath of the wind. A nest of eggs. Laughter.
Amid those, true riches.
Those are the things I'll remember when I remember nothing else. Maybe just a whisper, or maybe like the lyrics to a song I can't quite recall.