This weekend, the General Conference of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints took place. President Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke and started his talk with the story of an observation he made while stationed in Osaka Japan as WWII ended. He spoke of a sycamore tree that had the nerve to grow a few limbs with yellow leaves on them. The surrounding scenery was bleak with bombed out buildings and rubble and ash. He say little girl whom he said "seemed un-aware" of the destruction around her. She went from tree to tree collecting the yellow leaves.
"She had found the one beauty left in her world. Perhaps I should say, she was the beautiful part of her world. Embodied in the child was hope."
I have a wonderful life and more blessings than I can really take in and that probably ends up being the problem really. This little girl found beauty in a world seemingly bereft of it. Sometimes I find myself dwelling too much on the "must dos" or "didn't dos" or lost in worry about the future. Then sometimes I catch a glimps of something just right or smell something or feel something and I remember beauty and it overtakes any shadows. Sycamore leaves are beautiful. Here are a few of the beautiful things in my world. Celebrate I must:
I cannot express the extreme comfort of my bed. The combination of yellow and gray and the coziness of it all are a bit intoxicating. In the morning, when a cool breeze comes in from my window, and the sheets are so gentle against my skin, I think, why do I ever leave this place. But it's such a fleeting moment because when it's light out, the time is passed and it's time for work. Ahhh... so lovely.
I like breathing a lot. I mean you all like breathing because the alternative is not. But I love breathing in. I love feeling my body work. I love the way my body moves when I've been good to it and how everything works together so nicely. I love the way sleep feels when I work out. I love the way swimming and running feel. I even like yawning or sneezing. They just make me feel healthy.
I like this scent Villain. I recently purchased it. It was next to other Ed Hardy scents and they had what looks like tattoos on them. Not my normal style. But I smelled it and liked it. I think I also like that it's unexpected, that it's not my style (the look). I feel dangerous (oh so dangerous).
I love looking up at the sky while laying on my back in the grass. It's just a cool perspective. I like it when looking back on swings too.
I love the funny things kids in my class will say.
I love the sound of my name in other people's voices.
I like making plans. I like when people say something like "we should do that" or, "we'll have to go there" because it means they plan on our friendship lasting.
I like wind.
I like getting angry and having someone listen and have it be okay that I wasn't perfect in that moment.
I like muscle pain.
I like seeing old friends. I like that they know who I was and can see how that person has changed and that they like both versions.
I like having really awesome conversations with people who are not my best friends or family members (though I love those too obviously). I like that human experience is sometimes the only thing we share and that sometimes, it's just enough to connect.
I like how soft the skin on forearms is.
I like clean kitchens. Kitchens especially. Sometimes if all I can do is the dishes and mop, then the rest of the house can fall apart.
I like being somewhere where only water or wind are the sounds.
I like the blue table in my kitchen.
I like this boy. I like this boy a lot. I've liked boys before. I've liked them a lot. I've never liked one like I like this one. That word "like" even is a bit tame.
Life is rich and good and hard sometimes. Hard is possible when we gather the beautiful things in our world. It's even fun and adventurous.
In conference, President Eyring quoted President Kimball and something he said about facing trials. "Give me this mountain. Give me these challenges."
I like mountains. Who's up for a hike?