Thursday, August 7, 2008
"So, when are you going to put pen to paper and write that essay for the Real Simple contest?" Erik asks me last night.
"Ummmm... I wasn't."
"You should, you really should. You write well and people like to read what you write."
"But I have no idea what I would say. There is no one day that I can say was the best in my life."
And I started thinking. What was the most important day of my life? The obvious answers are, the day I got married, the day I gave birth. I can imagine Real Simple magazine is going to receive thousands of 1,500 word essays about those days. So, I started considering less obvious topics - our first date in Annapolis, the day we were practically kicked out of New Hampshire, my guardian angel ride to Benenden School when I was 18, quitting law school (that was a liberating moment).. the list goes on.
The contest assignment says the day could be "poignant or hilarious". The rolodex of memories starts flipping... ok... some mediocre entries there. What about hilarious? Oh sure, there are the embarassing moments that will remain nameless here.. but again, nothing makes me want to devote 1,500 words to its memory.
All these moments combine to make my life pretty darn good. I've had a LOT of days that were poignant and hilarious, its simply not possible to isolate just one. Perhaps it is not the memory of the day that has already happened, but the day in the future that will be the most important...
It is a sunny day. I am sitting on a bench. I have my legs tucked up underneath me like I belong to this bench. I am a fixture here. I can hear the church bells ring. I can hear the water running over the rocks in the river below. The hand in mine has been a fixture for many many years.
I am old and loved. In my eyes you can see a life well lived. I can think back through many decades of challenges, excitements, adventures, explorations. I can say that I've had true love, true companionship. That I've grown as a person and grown in charity. I can remember first setting my eyes on my future husband walking towards me at City Dock in Annapolis, the fireworks of my wedding in a small community church in New Hampshire, the breathlessness I felt when I first saw my daughter's face, and that is just the beginning of our journey.
Maybe its not so difficult to write the essay afterall. It is actually real simple.