Sunday, February 20, 2011

why I love assignments

When I walked out of my first appointment with a counselor, I had dried tears on my cheeks, hope for the first time, and one assignment to hold me over until later that week.
I won't get into how a perfectionist takes an assignment like this,  because heaven forbid I do this first assignment wrong!  my counselor assured me that doing this assignment wrong was quite impossible.
so I went about my assignment. I went on walks, went to a yoga class, went on a hike up my favorite little mountain, sat outside alone on the front lawn.  
the first thing I noticed was the feeling of winter grass tickling my fingertips. and I sat there and noticed where my bum got wet first as the moisture from the morning watering seeped through.  and I noticed that I didn’t remember the last time I sat on the grass and thought about the grass.  Or stood at the top of my mountain and counted the palm trees, or listened to myself breathe lying on a mat, or discovered which one of the trees around the park I thought was the most beautiful, and then noticed why.  
it was an ash.  to me it looked like a giant blooming rose.  it wasn’t symmetrical, it wasn’t the fullest or tallest or greenest.  It was what it was, and it kept growing anyway.
if 100 people walk around that same park, and pick the most beautiful tree, most of them wouldn’t pick my tree.  maybe none of them would.  that’s the thing about beauty.  it’s relative.
don’t we also have that same purpose in this existence?  to be exactly who we are, making everything else beautiful around us simply because we are here?  making our families more complete, more happy, more loving, more silly?
noticing became one of my favorite things to do.  and that’s why I like assignments.  and knitting.  and baking. and going to Whitfill Nursery by myself and looking at all the plants (and buying them).  and farmer’s markets.  and reading a good book. 
my next assignment?  buy a camera.  document the fact that you exist and so does your husband and child.


  1. I love your new blog! Great writing. Can't wait to hear more.

  2. Isn't getting into a habit a drag? ...just thinking of all the stuff I do out of habit, and the things I miss because I didn't stop to do it differently. Hmm...I think I'll try and shake it up a little this week. You know, notice.

  3. "that's the thing about beauty, it's relative."

    This may be my favorite line to date. It's so true and sad that we can't seem to remember that as often as we should. Beauty is relative and it's also non-competitive. Just because she's beautiful doesn't mean I can't be - even if I look very different than she does. A very important lesson that I hope to be able to teach my two precious girls someday!