Just Like That Hour Today

 


Today I've been mostly curled up at home on this blustery Sunday feeling very sick with a sinus infection, but happy too, as it's my birthday. Despite having to cancel the babysitter for dinner out last night, a brunch party with friends this morning and a debate dinner party with friends tonight, I'm still feeling surrounded by love. I got to read in bed this morning while my husband made breakfast and my kids made birthday cards for me downstairs. I built Lego with Xavier and read stories with Georgia. We went for a slow walk through our neighborhood park and the kids splashed in the creek. Family and friends called, skyped, emailed and texted. Xavier and Christian baked a cake while Georgia and I napped. Christian roasted a chicken for dinner and we watched spellbound as Hillary beat Trump soundly in the second-to-last debate. Champagne remained corked in the fridge, but that can be enjoyed all the rest of my birthday month.

I think about this somewhat ordinary day in my beautiful life and I feel so grateful for all of it. My extended family and all my friends are healthy and happy. I hear my kids laughing and calling, Mommy, Mommy! I have a warm home in a safe neighborhood. I feel so lucky, so blessed and I don't ever want to take this for granted. 

And in a sweet bit of serendipity, the book I was reading in bed this morning? Joyce Sutphen's poems. A few hours later my friend Kat sent me this poem by Sutphen I'd never read before, which captures the beauty of moments in a life. Yes, it does make me want to go write a list poem of memorable moments in my life. Thanks, Kat. Thanks to all of you for your love and friendship, today and everyday.


 

Book of Hours

 

There was that one hour sometime

in the middle of the last century. 

It was autumn, and I was in my father's

woods building a house out of branches

and the leaves that were falling like

thousands of letters from the sky. 

 

And there was that hour in Central Park

in the middle of the seventies. 

We were sitting on a blanket, listening

to Pete Seeger singing "This land is

your land, this land is my land," and

the Vietnam War was finally over. 

 

I would definitely include an hour

spent in one of the galleries of the

Tate Britain, looking up at the

painting of King Cophetua and

the Beggar Maid, and, afterwards

the walk along the Thames, and

 

I would also include one of those

hours when I woke in the night and

couldn't get back to sleep thinking

about how nothing I thought was going

to happen happened the way I expected, 

and things I never expected to happen did—

 

just like that hour today, when we saw

the dog running along the busy road, 

and we stopped and held on to her

until her owner came along and brought

her home—that was an hour well

spent. Yes, that was a keeper.

 

~ Joyce Sutphen

 

 
Sarah Burns