A basket of tangerines.
The sky is gray and the palms outside my window swing + sway, waiting for the rain. The house is still. Quiet. The rising steam from my tea the only movement to be made. The fuzzy blanket covers most of me, except my toes, as I start the day slowly. Reading. Writing. Creating space to be who I am right now.
There’s a lot of temptation to seek that next best thing. To one up our life. Our home. Our car. To get ready for the future. To make it bigger + better. The American in me catches a glimpse and my eyes turn to swirling, frantic stars. My jaw drops. Zombie like arms stiffened straight ahead, hypnotized, brainwashed that I neeeeeeed that. Whatever that might be.
But my true heart, my desire is simpler than that. It’s tamed, pulled back. It’s tending to what we have. It’s nurturing my bougainvillea (who’s making a brilliant comeback, I might add!) on our modest front porch. It’s finally paying off my student loan. It’s collecting + piling up even more stuff we don’t wear, use or read and giving it to someone who will wear, use or read it. It’s sleeping nine hours a night, shamelessly because I know that’s how I work and I want the very best me to show up for life every day, rested. Not stressed. Not rushed. Not needing to do more or be more or prove more. But, rested.
This life is rich + beautiful. We worked hard to get to a place where Mondays are slow + spontaneous. Maybe we’ll work. Maybe we’ll work out. Maybe we’ll sit on the patio and admire the tangerine tree, bursting with new color. There are always more nooks + crannies of our life to be discovered. An invitation for us explorers. More layers to peel off. More stuff to be sloughed away. More space to wiggle in just two more hours curled up in the comfiest chair at the coffee shop.
If we’re constantly on the move, if we’re constantly being stretched, if we’re constantly chasing more, there’s no time to recover, reap the rewards and pick + pile tangerines in a basket for the center of our tables. If we lose sight of the creative, smiling world around us, in front of us, within us, I think we’ll eventually lose it altogether. I don’t want to live that life, so focused on one upping our everything that I don’t notice everything + everyone right in front of me.
Even the stuff that feels slimy at first, uncomfortable right now, it’s engrained in the fabric that makes us whole. I’m working on sitting still with that stuff too, acknowledging its importance, before setting it free in the wind. Knowing that it’s here for a reason but that it doesn’t have to clump on, heavily, forever. Digging in + dealing as part of this quiet season. These slow mornings.
I want to be the girl who walks into the woods of her life and sees beauty + purpose in the entire scene. Shade + protection from the trees. Hope + happiness in the wild flowers. I want our home to feel the same. Only pieces than serve us well, art that represents our adventures, clothes that make us feel like the best, truest versions of ourselves.
Eventually, we’ll buy a new car. Eventually, we’ll buy a house. But not because my wild, swirling stars of eyes have to have the next best thing. We’ll do it because it’s the right time. And right now, it’s time to breathe in even deeper this worn-in phase of our life. It’s time to start days slowly. Quietly. It’s time to discover every inch of all we have. Challenge ourselves to find the hidden treasures of these precious days + weeks. Really use what we’ve got. Live it wholeheartedly. And stash it, sacredly, in our hearts.
Someday, months or years from now, when our home + family is bigger, I want to remember who we are now. I want to be able to think back and smile because I know we pursued what was most important and recognized every big + little gift in this season of our life. And as I pick tangerines or grapefruits or avocados from the fruit trees I know we’ll have, I want to know I appreciate their tastes + colors, their beauty in a bowl in the center of our table, not because our table seats more people or because a dark-haired little girl’s legs dangle as she giggles and her sticky fingers drop orange peels on the floor, but because I’ve always been grateful for this scene, even when it was just us. Just as it is right now.