I’ve just gotten back from my house, where I watched a sweet, sad movie called Random Harvest with my family. The movie was terribly sweet, and terribly sad, and I cried three times during it. It was lovely.
This whole day was lovely–a reprieve from the Very Busy Person that school’s made of me for the past few weeks. And while a journal entry about the lovely Saturday I had isn’t the most interesting topic for a blog, it feels somehow worth recording. I’d like to remember this Saturday when I’m seventy. So, to whichever of Jo’s mental capacities is in charge of what memories to keep around for the next five decades, I’m telling you: keep this one, please.
I played soccer with my sister’s friends and, while I was not good, and while one of the little girls honestly resigned herself to the prospect of being on my team with “Well, I guess I’ll be doing all the work,” I did try. I ran. I hustled. I tried. And it felt glorious.
Before the soccer, I’d gone home to enjoy the beautiful, spring-ish weather. My dad was clearing vines and dead leaves from a flower bed, and offered me the clippers, telling me that anything was fair game–except the blueberry. Maybe don’t cut down the blueberry, he said. So I didn’t.
I started reflecting on things while I was crouched down in the flower bed, in among the daffodils and wild onions, clearing out the dead leaves and rot, but oh-so-carefully lest I pull up something blooming. It felt so good to get my hands dirty with something clearly useful, instead of running around like a headless chicken trying to meet a bunch of deadlines. I felt so tired of school–and I like learning. I have just gotten tired, lately.
It felt good to be working with my hands instead of working for a grade. I like the prospect of clearing away dead things to make room for green, living things. It’s what I want to be known for–valuing life, helping others, caring for small things. In a small way, it’s what I’m trying to do with those abstract papers and theses and schoolwork–trying to work out what is life-giving, and what ideas are worth living and dying for.
I think people are worth living and dying for. Maybe more so than ideas. And I’m just rambling now–probably the movie I watched is helping me be more emotional than I’d be otherwise–but goodness. I would like to love people better than I do; to be more concerned with helping them grow and with giving them life than with anything else I can think of. I’d rather not think so much of who all recognizes me or knows my name or whether I am ever famous. What I want to do with my life is clear away some of the rot and help the daffodils grow. You’ve got to be careful with daffodils, if you really like them.
This is pure emotion talking now, and I’m sorry if I’m not making much logical sense. But when I was standing there in the daffodils, I was watching my parents talk with our new neighbors. There were kids all over our yard–my sister and her friends, the neighbors’ children. I was proud to be my parents’ daughter, because my mom and dad were just being themselves, getting to know someone new. Being kind is such a quiet thing, mostly.
Tomorrow’s Sunday, and I don’t know what you think about church. If you don’t go, I hope and pray you find somewhere you can go. If you do go to church, I have a request for you. Please, please. Find someone you don’t know much at all–maybe someone you’ve never even met. And ask them their name. And if they’re shy, well, then, be careful and extra kind, but don’t give up. Tell them your name, and tell them how glad you are that they came. Try to get to know someone, if you can.
That movie I watched tonight was about memory, about loss and restoration, and how sometimes we miss people without even knowing it. About how precious life is. Curiously enough, those things are also what my senior thesis aims to be about (although technically I’m taking a break from that this weekend so I shouldn’t even mention it).
Life is precious.