Looking Back | February.

Luxury, I think, is the total fulfillment of all five senses at once.

Rosamunde Pilcher, The Shell Seekers

February was, for sure, a month of luxury. I saw smiling faces, signs of spring, stitches coming together to knit a sweater, and so many words on the page. I heard birdsong, wind chimes, words in my ears. I tasted the return of Saturday Night Snacks (even on a Sunday for the Super Bowl). I smelled a freshly bathed Holly, and a lot of coffee. I felt sunshine on my face, and the presence of Holly in my lap, by my side, and in my heart. So not all five senses in one moment, but over the course of one month, captured a moment at a time. still luxury.

It’s honestly surreal to look back at these photos – blue skies and spring blooms and smiling faces – and remember all that happened. in my life and in the world. and still I feel called to risk delight*.

I did tweak the photos a bit when I compiled this collage – I took a fair number of Holly photos, and substituted them for the ones I originally took as “photo-a-day”. She now appears a record eight times:

which is, of course, totally appropriate. I’m so grateful for this photo habit to have so many photos of her last month!

and now Looking Back,

Life Draining: Putin. the first commercials for the 2022 election. Holly’s decline.

Life Giving: the good news from Marc’s first 3-month follow-up. the strength of the Ukranian people and their leader(s). the response to Putin. naps. books&reading&bookfriends. Marc calling the vet.

A (short) Happy List: (this was hard, but…) re-reading! Around the World in 80 Days. brighter mornings and later sunsets. Birkin. and my first Musselburgh!

Was there a moment all five of your senses were fulfilled at once? Like I said, I can’t recall all five happening at once, but there are many were two or three were engaged. I’d love for you to share a “multi-sense moment”!

*these words are from Jack Gilbert’s poem “A Brief for the Defense”, shared by Diana Butler Bass in her newsletter on Sunday, February 27.

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of the world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

Jack Gilbert, excerpt from A Brief for the Defense

10 thoughts on “Looking Back | February.

  1. You’ve captured the gratitude in these moments with Holly as well as the other things you’ve described from February.

  2. I can see the blue skies and sunshine creeping back into your days, Mary. XO
    (And Shell Seekers is another book I’ve read multiple times. I don’t know why I love it so, but it’s Very Satisfying on many levels.)

  3. Hearing Andrew’s voice, snuggling with our neighbor’s new puppies, seeing all the birds, hearing my sewing machine doing FMQ, and the deliciousness of gumbo and etoufee that I had stored in the freezer on those cold nights. We just finished watching Around the World in 80 days and it will be a re-read for me soon. David Tennant looked so much like my Grandaddy-brought back some very happy childhood memories.

  4. Holly deserves the photo tribute, and it’s lovely to remember her that way (and keep her in your heart). I’m enjoying some coffee as I type this; it’s only satisfying two senses but I really need that stimulating satisfaction!

  5. I’m sure looking back at those photos of Holly must be bittersweet, and I hope you’re holding on tight to the good memories. There have been so many highs and so many lows, and I think the best we can do is to take them all and try to keep them in balance.

  6. I agree with Carole… I found this post full of gratitude (and so many Holly photos). I hope that March brings more gratitude and peace…for all of us, especially Ukraine.

  7. I’m going to copy down that Jack Gilbert quote…
    And such a delicate point you make, Life Giving…Marc calling the vet. Subtle balms at trying times, yes?

  8. So pleased to read that Marc’s results are so positive, and hoping he (and you!) can enjoy his being out on the golf course again. Such a lovely reminder to be aware of little moments and the gifts they hold, even in the midst of sadness.

  9. Love that blue sky photo and both quotes are so good. Like Bonny, I’m sipping coffee as I read some blogs – two senses involved.

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