Sunday, March 4, 2012

Another Day in Paradise, posted by Nancy L. Agneberg

     Winter vacations, especially when you are from a cold climate, always seem to inspire the daily comment, "Well it's just another day in paradise" referring to the sunshine and warm breezes and a view perhaps of palm trees and ocean or cactus and desert. I think the statement also refers to the luxury of a time out from routine and work and yes, winter, too. 
     I've always been a winter person and do not usually feel a need for a break from winter. In fact, winter in Madison this year has been easy and we have not panted for release from the elements. No snowed-in days. No gazing out the window as the snow has piled. No listening for the snow plow or Jack, the high school kid next door who shovels our walkway. No days of keeping the fire going, the hot chocolate simmering, and the book pages turning. No days of waiting for Bruce to safely pull in the garage after a treacherous drive home. No mornings being amazed at what has happened overnight; how the world transformed. The stillness. The insulation or some might say, the isolation. No mornings of digging out or wondering how much more of the white stuff we'll get  before it ends. Never mind, the refrigerator is stocked and we are warm and safe. We have not had any of those days yet, and now we march steadily towards spring. 

     What we have had recently is several "another day in paradise" moments during our visit to dear friends in Florida.  Perfect days. For example, the day we spent at the beach. We set up our chairs and umbrellas, got out our water and books. We walked the beach and chatted with the sand sculptors.  "Which one do you like the best?" we were asked as they tallied votes in their informal contest. We were entertained by the gulls and shore birds, ever alert for a snack. We remembered days on the beach with our once young children while watching children prancing and dancing as the water tickled their toes. We let the sound of the waves lead us deeper into relaxation, and I thought about other perfect days in my life.
     Big moments like the births of our children and grandchildren and our anniversary trip to Paris last fall, but also the ordinary moments like mornings harvesting lavender at our farm in Ohio, Sweetwater Farm, or long leisurely soup and bread dinners shared at our table with good friends or an afternoon at my office desk writing. Or coloring with our grandson or playing Sorry with our granddaughter. Or waking up and seeing the early morning light spread across the sky.  Or...
     This past week our daughter-in-love buried her beloved grandmother, age 92, and now Mary knows paradise, too. We don't have to wait, however, for our own death or even vacations to experience paradise.  My definition of a perfect day may be broad, but, I think, by being grateful, by staying awake and aware, and by being present, we can each be more aware of all the perfect, "another day in paradise" moments in our everyday life.    

What have been some of your perfect moments and perfect days and experiences of "another day in paradise"? I invite you to share.  

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