First crocus sighting of the season!
[Warmer in Kansas than Indiana!]
from the essay, "Bakeries"
by Delia Ephron
found in her book Sister Mother Husband Dog
To me, having it all — if one wants to define it at all — is the magical time when what you want and what you have match up. Like an eclipse. A total eclipse is when the moon is at its perigee, the earth is at its greatest distance from the sun, and when the sun is observed near zenith. I have no idea what that means. I got the description off a science Web site, but one thing is clear: it’s rare. This eclipse never lasts more than seven minutes and 31 seconds.
Personally, I believe having it all can last longer than that. It might be a fleeting moment — drinking a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning when the light is especially bright. It might also be a few undisturbed hours with a novel I’m in love with, a three-hour lunch with my best friend, reading “Goodnight Moon” to a child, watching a Nadal-Federer match. Having it all definitely involves an ability to seize the moment, especially when it comes to sports. It can be eating in bed when you’re living on your own for the first time or the first weeks of a new job when everything is new, uncertain and a bit scary. It’s when all your senses are engaged. It’s when you feel at peace with someone you love. And that isn’t often. Loving someone and being at peace with him (or her) are two different things. Having it all are moments in life when you suspend judgment. It’s when I attain that elusive thing called peace of mind. (p 79)
Not particularly American, unquantifiable, unidentifiable, different for everyone, but you know it when you have it. (pp 151 - 52; see also p 13)
from the essay "Hurtling Toward the Eschaton"
by Wayne Muller
found in his book Sabbath:
Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives
A Sabbath Challenge to the theology of progress: But we must ask this question: What if we are not going anywhere? What if we are simply living and growing within an ever - deepening cycle of rhythms, perhaps getting wiser, perhaps learning to be kind, and hopefully passing whatever we have learned to our children? What if our life, roughhewn from the stuff of creation, orbits around a God who never ceases to create new beginnings? What if our life is simply a time when we are blessed with both sadness and joy, health and disease, courage and fear — and all the while we work, pray, and love, knowing that the promised land we seek is already present in the very gift of life itself, the inestimable privilege of a human birth? What if this single human life is itself the jewel in the lotus, the treasure hidden in the field, the pearl of great price? What if all the way to heaven is heaven? (79)
[Bill Bryson says something along the same lines as Muller:
". . . you are alive. For the tiniest moment in the span of eternity you have the miraculous privilege to exist. . . . That you are able to sit here right now in this one never-to-be repeated moment, reading this book, eating bonbons . . . doing whatever you are doing--just EXISTING--is really wondrous beyond belief." ~ Notes From A Small Island, 120 - 21]