Sometimes by David Budbill

cherry_tomatoes_blue.jpg
tomatoes, Pike’s Market, Seattle, Canon Rebel Xti

“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?

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25 Comments

  1. Nicole

    I supposed I need to stop and think more. It feels like it’s been so long since I had a day like David Budbill describes. Not that I’m looking for pity or anything. I have just been struggling a lot with postpartum depression and sometimes in the thick of it it’s hard to look around at the things I’m thankful for. But, I know that doing so will help me through these tough times and get me to feeling normal again much quicker.
    Thanks for this inspiration today. I’ll try harder to find the simple pleasures.

  2. deb

    Well for me, finding out that our surprise baby is going to be a girl! Definitely something to savour.

  3. Catherine

    i love this. Another opportunity to not compare myself to what I think my life SHOULD look and feel like, but to go slow and notice what IS going on in my life that is all amazing and glowy and perfect in it’s imperfection.
    Savoring today:
    my newest belly photo that the husband took this morning and is on my blog now, all the friends I have to share this time with – even it is through e-mail – the gorgeous weather today in LA – the comfort of our cozy home – our quiet street and neighbors – the fine array of fine eateries near by for a pregnant gal to run off to in the afternoon to pick up a treat! – fresh drinking water – good fitting shoes – tivo – baroque music – the tiny lizard that lives in the front yard and sits on our front steps in the morning with us ( until he realizes we are there ) – my super sweet husband who deals with my crabbiness and lets things roll of his back – recipe exchanges – reading other people’s blogs – getting inspired again to make art – the library – writing a letter to a dear friend with colored pencils – taking a bubble bath in the morning and lighting a candle that was given to me by a dear friend on my 40th birthday – the yogurt and fruit smoothy I made for breakfast this morning – going slow – nothing scheduled – feeling the baby move around in my belly – letting fear go – setting boundaries when needed – watching the shadows on my drapes as the sunlight moves through the trees branches outfront – calm – peace – no drama and your blog!

  4. nicole

    This is amazingly gorgeous — I love it and not just because it’s about food! Lately I have been just savoring nearly everything: potatoes roasted in a bit of olive oil and sea salt, half a head of cauliflower done the same way, the recent warm weather we’ve been having here in the Bay Area, a hug from an old friend. Oh, the little things. They are what we must hold on to, and what makes this life worth it.

  5. Leia

    How incredibly beautiful and so true. That struggle of feeling so lucky and then remembering all those who are suffering. Then there is that truth that one must appreciate *what is* and be in that moment for one never knows what the future holds.
    I savor and feel bliss in the most charming, cherished, sweet and incredibly beautiful moments I am blessed with witnessing in my two year old son’s life. I savor the sweet moments in the quiet dark with my love. The knowing that we made it, we made our sweet, happy little family and we love each other soooo very much! I savor being home with my son and creating our home. I savor the fruit from our citrus trees and I savor the colors in nature all around me! I savor the memories of the struggle to be here and I savor the bounty of my efforts. I savor my freedom, I savor the good friends I am making and I savor the memories of those who I miss and have lost. I savor the magic and beauty of finding communities and blogs and friends who think and write about these things and share all of these beautiful thoughts with others!

  6. DonnaG

    I am savoring your photo! Absolutely gorgeious!

  7. Sophie

    To savour: new friends, jacaranda season, the city cloaked in fog, cooking eggplant pilaf with my mum and a glass of wine, going dancing three nights in a row, long baths and a pile of new books.

  8. Nerdy Renegade

    Hey, we heard that on NPR yesterday too! (My hubby and I were in the kitchen listening.) I love Garrison Keiller’s voice and the music that goes along with The Writer’s Almanac. I pause and soak it in whenever I hear it on the radio.
    Indeed, I struggle with this kind of balance as well. As an innate problem solver, my mind tends to automatically drift to whatever could be ‘better’ about any given part of my life. And while that is helpful in some realms, it does tend to make me miss the being-in-the-moment-and-soaking-it-in wonders that are all around.
    Lately I’ve been enthralled with nature. Fall colors. Beautiful clouds. The angle of the sun this time of year. Cute babies all around. New goddess circle friends. An amazing historic outcome of the election!!! And celebrating 18 years with my husband 🙂

  9. emiliy

    this afternoon i savored an apple with crackers and honey…it was delicious.

  10. Puanani

    I have taken the plunge into the blogging world. I was injured last winter and was bed-ridden for seven months. I found so many wonderful blogs and the stories, poems and photographs filled my lonely days. I even purchased a Rebel digital camera after seeing all of your beautiful photographs. So, as my body heals and my spirit begins to piece itself back together, I have found that writing for my new blog is bringing some clarity and gratefulness into my life. My camera is providing me with a view I have been missing all of these years. For many days, the darkness has overcome the light. But today, I feel hope.

  11. blackbird

    …my new job, in these troubled economic times, with a boss who appreciates me. My boys, men really, who are brave and smart and good.
    My beautiful little house.

  12. Julia

    Just today I was fortunate to savor a crisp, fall, morning. There have been so many fires here in So.Cal. So, the cool dew was a real blessing.
    Also, savoring amazing green tomato salsa and fire roasted veggie burritos at my favorite hangout for yummy mexican-style food.
    One last thing I savor most… my daughter’s hugs.
    I’m so lucky to have this “huggy” little girl who wants to tell me how she feels and give bear hugs every day.
    It doesn’t get much better than that,
    I feel so blessed.
    Thanks for your great post that made me stop and think about all I have to savor.
    🙂

  13. maggie ann

    i am savoring the quiet moments i am having tonight. though i am in the midst of such a big spot of uncertainty i find it hard to be in the moment.
    i have the strongest internal intuition that tomorrow i will find out something that will change my life forever. and i am having trouble wrapping my mind around how that will be. what i will feel, or if my intuition is totally wrong, what that will feel like.
    so tonight it is the quiet i am savoring. when the doubt subsides and there is just the beauty of being. when “when I am so happy I am afraid I might explode or disappear
    or somehow be taken away from all this,”
    i savor this night, with an achy tired body that is so unsure. but sure none the less that i am alive and that alone is beautiful.

  14. lori

    At times I find myself rushing through life as if it’s a race, full of anxiety to make it to the finish line….then it hit me yesterday
    why?
    You are right Andrea, even the most simple things in life can be savored. So this morning I slowed down to savor my morning routine including packaging up & shipping the products I sold from my shop. Taking time with all the little details and I feel so much better.
    My husband always tells me there are 360 degrees of perspective to be had in any situation….he couldn’t be more right.

  15. celisa

    andrea this post made me tear up…it’s perfect. and that photo is stunning…makes my mouth water, and makes my hands crave the soil. i’m ready for springtime in georgia again!
    i am moving into a household with three kids under the age of 5…though this will prove challenging i have no doubt, i am looking forward to seeing how these three children will change my perspective and open my eyes to these simple kind of moments to savor. i get the opportunity to see not just one but three kids discover the world moment by moment….amazing.

  16. Chris

    Ah, balance. So hard to achieve yet so worth the effort. Today I am savoring the drier air and cooler temperatures of fall in SW Florida. It’s hot and humid for so long here that I really cherish this lovely weather.

  17. marilee pittman

    I savour every minute of the day. I love being outdoors walking around the pond with my friend Shawn and our dogs. I love the melancholy of the fall, I love the excitement of the first snowfall. Watching the cat in the window. Above all else I love to see my grandchildren and their bright joy-bringing faces….

  18. Gypsy Alex

    This is the kind of poem I wish I had written. So sensible, beautiful and earthy. xoxox

  19. Maggie

    smiles from young ones of friends. a goooood cup of tea bought at a good price. reading a book. watching the leaves change. baking bread.

  20. dianna

    Savoring the memory of an oatmeal breakfast in bed with my husband, yellow dog and calico cat on a cold, grey November morning.
    I heard this poem the other morning also, and it reminded me how much David Budbill’s poetry speaks to me, perhaps because we lead similar lifestyles here in Vermont. He came to the college where I work a few weeks ago, and is as wonderful as his poetry would suggest.

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