Currently Reading: Villette by Charlotte Bronte and Early Irish Myths & Sagas by Jeffrey Gantz
(Finished The World of Downton Abbey in one day though... but I don't regret that 1 a.m. bedtime)
Every year, for Valentine's Day, Nate and I watch Jane Eyre (the phenomenal 2006 version from the BBC with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens). It debuted on PBS in February of 2007- the first Valentine's Day we celebrated together. Since then, it has become our Valentine's tradition- no fancy dinners, no bouquets of flowers... just the two of us (with Hobbes), burrowed in blankets on the couch,enjoying one of our favorite love stories.
Today, a list of things I love and am grateful for- because what better day to celebrate it all?
- At the top of my list: Nathan. While I won't get all sappy here, he really is my best friend, the sharer of all my adventures, my "sweetheart of the hawthorn hedges." I wouldn't be the same without him.
- My family and my friends. My life is so full with love from so many wonderful souls- my parents, who support me at every turn; my sister, who is my other half; my grandparents, those here and not here; my extended family, who are really just members of my immediate family because we're so close; my friends, with whom I share a million memories, and with whom I am closer than ever, despite the distances. I know God has blessed me when I think on all of the people He has put into my life.
And other little things:
- Watching birds with Hobbes as they gather the bird seed on our balcony, swooping and diving and chattering to each other in the cold winter breeze.
- The lovely purple shawl my Oma crocheted for me several Christmases ago that I hardly part with during the winter. Whether I'm cleaning, cooking, doing homework, or reading, it's there on my shoulders, keeping me snug and warm.
- Hot mugs of tea, steam curling from the surface invitingly.
- Inspiration. I have a harder time finding it during the winter months, but I'm starting to feel it take hold of me, like the first buds of spring returning. Inspiration to write, to desire, to explore. My blood quickens when it comes and the potential of the life ahead of me takes hold in all of its strength and its wonder.
- Writing this blog. I am so lucky that I have the chance to write about what inspires me, to share my thoughts and impressions with friends and family, as well as readers who have become friends and family. Writing has always been an outlet for me, but this blog has allowed me to challenge myself more and discover just how much I need writing.
- Stacks of books on my bedside table, waiting to be read and experienced.
- Mumford & Sons, every song resounding in my ears like a beautiful prayer.
- Creating in the kitchen.
- Our Ireland pictures.
- Serving communion at church.
- Dreaming of summer- farmer's markets, hikes in the State Park, starting another balcony garden, and driving with the windows down.
- Adding books to my Goodreads list.
- Wearing cardigans.
- Doing research at work.
- Accomplishing projects.
- Eating homemade yogurt.
- Shopping at Goodwill.
- Finding antiques.
- The color green.
- Talking about kids' names with Nate, even though that's several years off.
- Adding quotes to my quote book.
- Listening to Opa's stories on my tape recorder.
- Planning for the future.
- Silence. I love stopping, making an effort to take in silence and calm for a few minutes of the day. Centering myself, saying a few words to God, recognizing the blessings I have. It doesn't happen every day, but when it does, I feel refreshed and in tune with who I am and who I want to be.
Love yourself, love the ones around you. "The greatest of these is love."
Happy Valentine's Day!