I loved that I saw two bluebirds yesterday morning, and that even though I couldn’t remember the actual fairy tale, the title “The Bluebird of Happiness” got stuck in my head and became background music for a few hours.
I loved being with all the cousins and aunts and uncles—all our extended family—and their familiarity, even though they live far away, even though we really are all older and have maybe all changed a lot. They feel close, still.
I loved seeing the newest generation of children playing together, and knowing that what one branch of the family calls “spunkiness” another branch calls “zestiness,” but we all recognize where it came from and that it’s something to celebrate.
I loved going back to a favorite place from my childhood, even now that everything is different.
I loved seeing the shipping container barn that I haven’t thought of for years, but which immediately conjured up my old Boxcar Children fantasy.
I love that in place of the old swing—maybe my grandma’s favorite place in the whole world—there was a new swing, hand-built by the son of the man who takes care of this place, in anticipation of our arrival.
I love that even though I was sure the perfect memento from the day would be a picture of the new swing standing empty, it was immediately and continuously full of great-grandchildren. Great grandchildren who smiled and talked and laughed and played.
Who scattered rose petals instead of ashes.
I love that sometimes in the hard moments one small beautiful thing will present itself and allow you to attach yourself to it so you can hold your heart steady.
I love that after the moment has passed you realize that you are in fact surrounded by relatives of that small beautiful thing—cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and great-grandchildren and many others, besides. That there is much to hold on to while you can.
That a life keeps flowing outward even when the person is no longer with you.
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