When I look back on my life, I see tiny glowing moments strung along the way.
I remember the feel of the cut hay pressed against my back and the smell of the pine tree, as I watched my black “bat” kite (remember those?) flutter against the blue sky. I was leaning against a big, old tree that grew in the middle of the old field that was our childhood playground. That memory is as vivid today as it was 40 years ago. I could tell you the direction I was facing, and the sound the wind made as it rustled through the cut hay. I was eleven years old.
I remember the moment my fiancé pulled me into his arms, the summer he vacationed with my family up at beautiful Lake George, NY. I can still feel the heat of his arms around me, as we sat on the dock and watched the water of the lake shimmer. I was 41 that year.
I remember sitting in my Nana’s kitchen as she stirred up some ‘Cream-o-Wheat’ (it’s a hot breakfast cereal for you Aussies out there) for my sister and me. Her house always smelled like baby powder. Any time I visited, I would stop by a lovely sideboard that she had in the dining-room. On it she kept a little porcelain ballerina, that you could gently touch and watch spin around on her toes.
I remember my first ballet class. I can still remember the dance we had to learn for our recital…I was a pumpkin. My tutu was orange and I had a green hat that looked like the stalk from the pumpkin…it had green sequins around the edge. I was six that year.
I remember learning to do needle point. I had a small piece of corrugated cardboard that kept my needles secure when I wasn’t using them. One day, my baby brother pulled the cardboard apart. I threw a ‘hissy fit’. Later that day, my brother presented me with a new holder for my needles…he had glued together about 10 pieces of cardboard (ya’ know, the kind they used to keep shirts stiff at the dry cleaners) that he had cut to be the same size as the piece he had inadvertently destroyed. I was 13 that year.
I remember corkscrewing through the air, playing hide and seek with the clouds, as my Air Force T-37 screamed through the sky. The clouds were so close; the little wisps of white were speeding over the glass canopy. The gyros were all tumbling (as they often did in the T-37) and I was laughing at the top of my lungs. I was 30 that year.
My life is a series of moments. They glow, like pearls, suspended on a bit of thread.
Now, the way I see it, you can choose to focus on the thread, or you can see the pearls.