Hello, dear reader. How are you doing?
I always cringe when I write a post entitled "lately," because it tends to signify I haven't had much opportunity to write for the past little while, and now I'm coming here to submit an itinerary of what I did during that time.
That's not really how I like to blog. I'd rather relate a conversation I had with Sherlock or talk about cloud shapes. When I think about trying to account for the past few weeks of my life I feel...the same feeling which kept me from getting here in the first place: overwhelmed.
But there really were so many things I wanted to talk about.
I wanted to tell you about Reading Week and how I was able to visit Caroline's class every day to read to those students. I read Fantastic Mr. Fox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and we had the most marvelous time together. I mean, it was beyond marvelous.
It was magical.
Do you believe in magic, dear reader? Not sleight of hand, or smoke and mirrors, but real, true magic?
Try this: contact your local elementary school and ask if you can be a volunteer reader...then visit a class and read Fantastic Mr. Fox to them. What will transpire during those moments is nothing short of magic. It is completely unusual. It is electric. Time is suspended, the room disappears, and it's as if you and those children are winging through a universe of foxes, tunnels, foul tempered farmers, and everything else in between.
Read with love. Read with wonder. Read with relish. Read with expression. Read as if you wish you could soothe every care and make the world a better place, as if you believe each kid is the brightest and most interesting person you could ever hope to meet.
Because they are, dear reader.
Somehow I feel convinced of all the things I could do with my time, this thing is one of the best. This is not an attempt to back-pat or compliment-fish, but I honestly believe I can make the world a better place by reading stories to children.
How is that not magic?
Moving along, Sherlock molted. He's quite a character, my dear little Sherlock. For one thing, he is a voracious hunter. For another, he's very antsy. And finally, he does not adore me half as much as Charles Portis did. When you stop to consider the extent of Charles Portis's affections I think you can feel very sorry for me, indeed.
The desert darklings are back! It makes me happy to see them tottering about the desert, doing handstands and keeping their little corners of the world in order.
Yesterday we went to southern California to watch Sophie's team compete in a tournament. As I get to know these girls better, I grow increasingly more fond of them.
I am sort of shy, especially around teenagers, but I hope they know how much I admire them. They fought like lions in the last game we watched and I was nearly moved to tears. Afterward, I wanted to run up to each girl and express my feelings, but I know that would have been manifestly UNCOOL.
As it was, I did run up to this girl and hugged her to pieces and made her take a picture with us. I always come back to this feeling of wonder that my lovely, sweet, growing up girls were so recently babies. Sophie was the dearest little thing to lug around: my blinking, brown-eyed girl. I did not realize how quickly time would pass nor, as much as I cherished her, did I grasp how wonderful she would become and is still becoming.
I do not say this in some some simple, naive way...I speak with my eyes open to the sorrows of this world and the struggles I have within it: wonder, beauty, magic. I see it every day, in almost every moment of every day. I see it in rooms full of children, hungry for a story, in every insect I've ever stopped to observe, in glorious spring days and piles of leaves which look like tattered butterfly wings, in total strangers and the people I love best.
I get a little nervous when I write such things in case it conveys the impression I never feel like breaking an emergency swear vial or hiding away in a closet.
I do, but none of that changes the rest of what I just said.