What comes with me?
- A good book, always. And maybe two or three. I've already tucked Ursula LeGuin's Words Are My Matter into my backpack. I've been thinking a lot about words, lately, and I am looking forward to this collection of essays. Maybe I'll finally finish Just Mercy, too ... and find time to grab a novel from the library that can fit in my suitcase.
- Something to write with, and something to write on, so I can jot down lists or thoughts or doodles.
- Food. If I get hungry, I get cranky... so I pack a handful of almonds and some chocolate and maybe a piece of fruit. Plus a sachet or two of my favorite ginger tea.
- A big scarf. I tend to get cold, and so this can keep me warm or double as a pillow. I have a few favorites -- including the soft purple one pictured here that a friend helped me choose a few years ago.
It's a good time to take comfort to others, too. A thoughtful card, a shared bowl of soup, cookies for a neighbor, a package to far-away family, or a kind word to a stranger on the bus may make a bigger difference than you know. As Anne Lamott writes in her essay called "Sustenance":
"Beautiful moments heal, as do real cocoa, Pete Seeger, a walk on old fire roads. All I ever wanted since I arrived here on earth were the same things I needed as a baby, to go from cold to warm, lonely to held, the vessel to the giver, empty to full. You can change the world with a hot bath, if you sink into it from a place of knowing that you are worth profound care, even when you're dirty and rattled. Who knew?" (From Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace.)
Can you give yourself not just comfort, but "profound care"? Can you give the same to someone else? Please share in the comments -- I'd love to hear from you. Warm best wishes for peace and joy! --Michelle