The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Beautiful Things

With the turkey remains in the fridge waiting for the traditional late night application of bread and mayo, and everyone in the house stretched out and dozy from an overdose of tryptophan, it is time I think to write something about thankfulness. But I also think I’d like to do something different. I am, of course, thankful for Mr. K, the love of my life, for my health, for our continued safety and well-being, that we both wake up every day with a home and food and are able to read and care for ourselves and for each other. Of course. But, in the interest of offering a new perspective, I thought to make a list of things that are beautiful to me. Beauty is, after all, an entirely subjective thing and it is this beauty that makes life interesting, challenging, wonderful, dizzying—and, above all, something for which I am profoundly thankful. So, for your perusal, my first ever Thanksgiving list of beautiful things:

The way autumn air smells faintly of woodsmoke, even when you can’t see a fire anywhere nearby.

The curl of a cat on the back of a chair, stretching one paw dreamily at my touch.

The way my husband places his palm briefly on my back as he moves past me….just for that second of extra connection.

The click of knitting needles as a dream is turned into something tangible.

The way that sorrow and hurt and even loss all serve to help make life more important. And, ultimately, more beautiful.

An e-mail from a treasured friend whom I have not yet met, but whom I have known forever (you know who you are)

The faint, persistent murmurings of trees bending in the late autumn wind

Teenagers in a mall, giggling and shoving each other as they try on assorted variations of adulthood, all of which are still a bit too big.

The last smidge of frosting in the bowl before you fill it with hot water.

The sun caressing the sky in one last, passionate embrace before yielding to the velvety black evening.

The exhausted young father, trailing after his daughter this morning in the gray drizzle while she pedaled enthusiastically on a bright pink bike and all but glowed with delight.

The same father, carrying the bike and the now cranky child all the way home some 10 minutes later.

A newly changed bed with a freshly washed blanket tucked up around my shoulders

The smell of an old book.

An arrow of geese hurrying south, honking encouragement to one another as they go.

A new calendar, with all the pages blank and open to possibilities

People who’ve never met working side by side for a common cause, brought close by the desire to effect change

Being folded into a pair of loving arms, no questions asked.

Being the one to do the folding.

Helping someone to hold even a fraction of their pain, for even a fraction of a second

Vanilla body lotion when you’re not going anywhere, but just because you like it

An oversized, utterly soft sweater whose sleeves can actually cover your hands, should you choose.

Waking up and knowing that the person sleeping next to you means more to you today than ever.

Loving where you are, right this second.

All of you….each and every one of you who have entered my life and my heart through the strange and wonderful land of blog.

A very happy Thanksgiving to you and to yours. May this day—and all of your days—be filled with beautiful things.


  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    That post was beautiful, made me tear up. Thanks

  • At 11:31 PM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    Very beautiful Florence.

  • At 5:39 AM, Blogger lisalou said…

    Yet again, you put beautifully into words what people need to hear!! Thank you.

  • At 6:54 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Aye, I'm with the tears...for everything on your list I so understand...and thank you.

  • At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    Ok, I'm with them, tearing up over here. I wish I had your way with words.

  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger Charity said…

    Beautiful thoughts - thanks for the reminder to appreciate both the big and little things! :0)


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