friday feast: moments of grace

Now that the holidays are here with all the shopping, baking, decorating, socializing, and seemingly endless things to check off those long To Do Lists, quiet moments are hard to come by.

But I was blessed with a quiet day right before Thanksgiving, having just returned from Hawai’i where we celebrated my Dad’s 100th birthday. I had time to reflect on this momentous event and transition into full-on holiday mode by leisurely doing things that made me happy, truly a day like Alice Walker describes in her lovely poem, “Grace.”

GRACE

Gives me a day
too beautiful
I had thought
to stay indoors
& yet
washing my dishes
straightening
my shelves
finally
throwing out
the wilted
onions
shrunken garlic
cloves
I discover
I am happy
to be inside
looking out.
This, I think,
is wealth.
Just this choosing
of how
a beautiful day
is spent.

~ from Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth: New Poems (Random House, 2003).

*   *   *

I felt positively decadent as I chose to:

Open parcels that had arrived while we were gone, finding handmade ornaments I’d ordered from Puffin Patchwork in Ireland:

Pore over the new Emma Bridgewater catalog (my favorite, my favorite!) and decide what I’d order if money were no object:

Sip red rooibos from a new tea mug I’m seriously crushing on at the moment:

Examine the adorable handmade ornaments a friend from Hawai’i gave me for my birthday:

Dig into the new Maira Kalman books I’d been waiting months to see:

Write thank you notes for some of the lovely birthday gifts I’d received:

This gift of a day was pure bliss for a homebody who thrives on simple pleasures and quiet times. I am so rich in family and friends. Thank you for being here today. I wish you moments of grace during this busy holiday season🙂

*   *   *

poetryfriday180The lovely and talented Anastasia Suen is hosting this week’s Roundup at Booktalking #kidlit. Take her some tea and cookies and check out the full menu of poetic goodies being shared in the blogosphere.

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Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

47 thoughts on “friday feast: moments of grace

  1. “Just this choosing…” We are so very lucky to have choices in how we spend our time and our lives. I like enjoy seeing how you’re spending your time. Love that teacup!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ability to choose how we spend our time is a luxury and a privilege. Sometimes we forget that. Cool teacups improve the tea drinking experience.🙂

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    1. The Puffin Patchwork ones are available via Etsy (just click the image), but I don’t think the other ones (made in Hawaii) are being sold online. She’s very talented and should make them available to the masses.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly,
    Luv to live the Alice Walker poem – appreciations for sharing.
    Secondly,
    HB backwards up to the day it was, with your favorite flavor gumdrops.
    Thirdly,
    Your story pictures are eye candy, with no calories – fun.
    Calm moments to you & all the Poetry Friday visitors

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  3. You spent the day perfectly…and thank you for sharing it’s peaceful beauty with us. I loved the poem – it reminded me of what Jacqueline Woodson spoke about at NCTE, that what is really beautiful in our lives, are the everyday acts. Lovely cups – Emma Bridgewater had a little place in London where I would take my children to paint ceramic pots, cups, etc. Love her stuff!

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    1. Yes, the little everyday things mean a lot. Sometimes we forget to appreciate what’s right under our noses. You’re so lucky to have heard Jackie speak at NCTE.🙂

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  4. Thank you for this calm and cozy post. Coming here is really like having a friendly cup of afternoon tea.🙂

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  5. Jama, the whole tone of the blog was soothing and relaxing. At this moment, I can savor your gentle moments lingering over the beautiful things in life that make you happy. My house is a jumbled mess-two weeks away and now Monday leaving for another week of learning at the state curriculum conference. How special that you can celebrate 100 years of life with your father. Congratulations!

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  6. I had a day such as this a month ago before I started work with a new class, Jama. It is a treasure, as are all the things you shared today, including that poem. It means a lot to choose such a day, doesn’t it? Beautiful post.

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  7. Such a lovely poem and post, Jama. Life has been a whirlwind over the past few weeks, and you’ve reminded me how lucky I am to be able to choose “how a
    beautiful day is spent. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  8. Hi, Jama. I love how this poem absolves the speaker (and the reader) of guilt. It’s okay to be inside, observing, away from the bustle sometimes. Thank you for sharing this quiet moment.

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  9. I love everything about this post — the quiet choices of a quiet day, the poem, the tea mug (oh, that tea mug!) … so beautiful.

    But, Jama, what can we do to move you off of the Questionable list?🙂 Wait! That must have been a reference to a different Jama, because the Jama I know is undoubtedly on the “Best Ever” list.

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    1. LOL. You made my day, Karen! The only “questionable” behavior I can think of during the past year was maybe eating the last piece of pie or last cookie in the jar. Maybe Santa is touchy about those cookies.🙂

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