I missed my cousin’s wedding yesterday. It was the union of two people I am so glad get to have a life together. Much of my family, including my husband and son, were there, but I stayed home nursing an ear that would not have done well with the high altitude of the mountain setting.
In March, I had pushed the limit of the RSVP date, hoping some quick acceleration in healing would occur. But that was not to be and my decision was clear—I want to do what I can for this condition to clear, and aggravating it with a trip up the mountains was not that.
And so this weekend I am home alone. A couple people have asked me if I was sad to be missing the wedding. I was struck by how little sadness I felt, as I am, in fact, an extremely sentimental person who is not reluctant to let her emotions flow. I realized that if I wanted to really mine the thoughts about what I was missing and how aggravating this ear thing is etc., etc., I sure could go there. I certainly did some of that when I first saw the four-digit elevation of the wedding site on Google maps. But yesterday, other than sending some good wishes, I didn’t focus on what I was missing. I stand by my decision about my ear, and I might as well enjoy this time. It’s rare for me to have this sort of solitude in my motherhood phase.
As I thought about it this morning, I remembered a time someone told me about seeing a squirrel do an amazing aerial feat at a park and commented critically about all the people present who missed it because they were looking at other things. Though I got that there is a helpful message there about being aware of what’s around you, what struck me is that if you’re at a park looking at something amazing, you are most certainly missing something else amazing. Chances are that while the squirrel was impressing, butterflies were flitting their crazy-colored wings through the air, flowers showed intricate patterns, getting down low you might see an ant carrying something five times its size, birds were singing complex songs. It’s everywhere. Even in abandoned parking lots, wildflowers grow in cracks, at night twinkling starlight reaches our eyes over vast distances, and in the day the sun can warm our hair. The park story has been a touchstone that life is bursting with beautiful, inspiring things.
This morning, while savoring a rare, peaceful start to a day at my own pace, I read e-mails from my husband and my mother about how fun and meaningful the wedding was, and saw the connection to the leaping squirrel story. It was comforting to remember that even when what’s right in front of me isn’t my first choice, I can always find plenty of sweetness.