There are days in life, unbidden and unassuming, that open wide and surprise you with their clarity and ease. Today was such a day.
The sun never broke through the clouds, just diffused a soft light over the changing trees. Leaves rustled and lazily swirled to the ground. Flocks of birds moved through the sky in careless, graceful arcs.
My girls played outside contentedly for nearly three hours this afternoon, pausing only to ask for a drink of water, or to show me a newly fallen red-brown leaf, or to point out the caterpillar that had curled into a ball to escape their probing fingers.
I sat outside, forcing myself to be aware of the temperate fall air. Too often I'm only aware of the air when it's extreme -- sweltering and oppressive, or frigid and harsh -- but to be aware of the perfect neutrality of temperature, to consciously appreciate a temperature that calls no attention to itself, is an exercise that draws you to be grateful for so many other small blessings that often get overlooked.
We came inside, ate a simple meal, and just moments ago, Joel came through the door from work. He's upstairs with the girls now, thudding and clomping and playing a game that involves whacking each other with pillows and yelling about invading mosquitoes.
Oh, today is such a day.