“Sometimes” by David Budbill
Sometimes when day after day we have cloudless blue skies,
warm temperatures, colorful trees and brilliant sun, when
it seems like all this will go on forever,
when I harvest vegetables from the garden all day,
then drink tea and doze in the late afternoon sun,
and in the evening one night make pickled beets
and green tomato chutney, the next red tomato chutney,
and the day after that pick the fruits of my arbor
and make grape jam,
when we walk in the woods every evening over fallen leaves,
through yellow light, when nights are cool, and days warm,
when I am so happy I am afraid I might explode or disappear
or somehow be taken away from all this,
at those times when I feel so happy, so good, so alive, so in love
with the world, with my own sensuous, beautiful life, suddenly
I think about all the suffering and pain in the world, the agony
and dying. I think about all those people being tortured, right now,
in my name. But I still feel happy and good, alive and in love with
the world and with my lucky, guilty, sensuous, beautiful life because,
I know in the next minute or tomorrow all this may be
taken from me, and therefore I’ve got to say, right now,
what I feel and know and see, I’ve got to say, right now,
how beautiful and sweet this world can be.
Heard this on the Writer’s Almanac on NPR yesterday morning and it gave me pause… I was struck by how much I’m not living the life that David Budbill describes… that this romantic thought of harvesting tomatoes and drinking tea in the sunshine seems like some quaint little fantasy reserved for a book or a poem.
It reminded me though of all there is to enjoy about the world, all the things that are around us all the time waiting to be noticed and savored. Bright red cherry tomatoes, tropical fish, an 8 pound baby boy called Cosimo that a dear friend had yesterday. Ben’s giggles as he runs down the sidewalk, leaves turning and crunching underfoot, a hot pink sunset over the bay, a ride on my bicycle to work. Maybe the trick isn’t living that life but creating little moments to savor along the way.
What is there to savor in your world?