I was coming home from my big day out–a sortie to the horse barn, followed by a grocery run, a bank stop, and a swing through the emissions inspection station, when I got stuck behind a school bus. I was on the windy mountain road that runs past my house, a glorified logging trail flanked on either side with big trees, and only an occasional homestead.
I had the thought that the leaves would soon be gone, and that I had best wallow in the greenery while I may. September sunlight is among my favorite, all golden and mellow, and as I tooled along enjoying the sense of autumn just around the corner, the school bus creaked to a stop.
Two kids got out, and in the fenced front yard, a golden retriever started barking and wagging his tail. Grandma hopped off the porch and the little girl ran right up to her and hugged her.
I had groceries in the back seat, and my house is a good forty-five minutes from the store. My frozen goods were thawing, the school bus makes bad time over the back roads, and I was tired from what, for me, is an ambitious day–to say nothing of the joys of the annual trek to the emissions station.
But that moment–the kids, the dog (a golden, of course), granny, the spontaneous hug, beautiful fall weather–was so powerfully sweet, that my groceries and fatigue, and the frustrations of why won’t a state employee wear a mask (why wont’ so many people in public places wear masks?) all fell away. The joy found me. The delight in a small scene of everyday love and wonder hit home and sank in.
I’m pretty sure I did not notice the beautiful sunlight last fall. I did not notice the silence resulting from a lack of school buses creaking along my windy back road this past year. I hid from the anxiety, but I also hid from many joys, and from much beauty and goodness. I am profoundly grateful for that moment behind the school bus, for that little girl running up to granny with her arms held wide and granny enfolding her in that special hug only grandparents can bestow.
I am profoundly grateful for all the folks who are doggedly masking up, all the folks who in the midst of this protracted stress and upheaval have sent me a little note–love the books, please keep writing. It helps. Thanks, from the bottom of my soul, to each of you who has read those books. It hasn’t just helped that my readers are still picking up the happily ever afters, it has saved my sanity.
As we put the long, hot summer behind us (or the long, cold winter for the southern contingent), I wish each of you a return of moments of love and wonder. If you had the fortitude to never lose sight of those moments, then I wish you more of them, and more ways to share those moments.
Tuesday marks the retail release of Miss Delightful, book two in the Mischief in Mayfair series, and that means I can give away signed copies to three commenters. Have any golden moments graced your life lately, or in the past months? Small, luminous times when the joy and wonder found you and sank in?