everyday history, momentous moments

They change us, these everyday moments, like airing the linens or making limeade. They enhance and make possible our momentous occasions as well. Along the way, we use all our senses to make connections with one another and our stories -- what do we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, in each moment? Yesterday, for instance.... 

Breakfast dishes drying:
Linens sunning themselves. Feel the breeze, taste the spring air. And listen to the stories:
The bedspread my daughter brought me from Greece, and the joy in her face at being so smart to know how I would love it. And there is her childhood kitty blanket she slept with for years. I would find her wrapped in it in odd hours, her hair smelling of fresh perspiration, her snores even and calm.
The quilt my mother's mother made by hand every stitch, from old shirts and dresses. I never knew this grandmother, but I remember the longing in my mother's voice when she said, "I never had a mother to help me raise my children..." and I would entreat my mother to tell me more about this grandmother I never knew.
The blanket I wrapped my first babe in. Oh how my heart pounded! Could I keep her alive? How tiny she was! How young I was! The first time she cried, I did, too.
The Freedom Summer quilt my friend Cindy made for me. What a celebration! My first book! Everyone came for a party. I saw that babe of mine walk into the room with her first babe, and felt we'd come full circle.
The signatures of all those I met in my travels, that Freedom Summer year. (Did you sign this quilt?) So carefully did young readers sign their names. Some drew me pictures. Some gave me advice. Some congratulated me. How many airplanes did I carry that quilt on? It became a security blanket, as I made my way in the world as a new writer. I kept it on the bottom of every hotel room bed I slept in.
It takes lots of energy to lay out the linens in the dappled, sunshiny breeze. In the front yard, there is big work afoot. I make limeade for all of us. I smell the tartness before I taste it.
Simple syrup, lime juice, ice cubes and water. I pour glasses for everyone.
 The moving truck is here. How many times did I move in my young life? Many. Many. Today, I am the one who stays put.
Decisions, decisions.
Creating a new home is always a challenge. I have another child creating her first home right now. There is so much swirling in our family now, so many new experiences. So many momentous events, supported by these everyday moments.
Brothers. Fellow travelers, this week. I will miss them. Who are you pining for?
Chances are, some of their stories -- and yours -- take place in momentous events -- a child being born, one moving away, a new job, a marriage, or another milestone to celebrate... or mourn, or grieve.
Just as true is the fact that most of your history with those you love takes place in the everyday moments, the everyday things that surround you, day-to-day, that are right under your nose, even this very minute. Look around. What do you see?

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