Well, the house is on the market and an offer is in. If all goes well, I’ll be out of this house that I’ve lived in for the past 26 years in mid July. Holy cow. I wander around through the rooms, and memories spill into my mind and tears spill down my face. I think about Rory’s first days here, when I was learning how to be a mother. There was the time Jaime marked her entire body with blue permanent marker, but purposefully kept her diaper clean! I remember lying in bed with a broken leg, Olivia C. rushing in to hug me with tears in her eyes. Or morning coffees last summer with Olivia T. before we both went to work. I will miss all those moments.
Last week, while I was in Whistler, something happened that made me consider things that mattered the most. I was on top of Harmony Ridge with three friends, and they had already taken off to get to the big bumps in the bowl. I looked around at the mountains and they just took my breath away. Then I pushed off, and as I rounded a corner, there was one of my friends waiting for me. The mountains were spectacular, but what mattered the most was that he had waited.
Lori McKenna, singer/ songwriter from Massachusetts (http://lorimckenna.com/) writes:
“My life is pieces of paper that I’ll get back to later. I’ll write you a story how I ended up here. Why the little things make us and how long it takes us, to figure out what matters the most. . . .”
Why does it take us so long to figure out what matters most? I don’t know. But I decided I should consider what mattered most from my Whistler trip, because all those little things reflect what is important in the rest of my life. Here they are. Some are serious, some sad, some silly, but all are meaningful. You might want to think about how they reflect the things that matter most in your life…
- the feeling of joy that swells in my chest as soon as I see the mountains. That joy can’t be bottled or shared, but it makes me smile uncontrollably. How amazing is that?
- standing in the village, laughing and singing John Prine songs at the top of our lungs with a street musician, and just for a moment, nothing else matters but the song.
- going into Starbucks and after the second morning, the staff just took the mugs I was holding and gave me an Americano and Pike Place. To be remembered is a wonderful, empowering thing.
- going to the bathroom at Horseman Hut, then heading down 7th Heaven, realizing I have to go again…and knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Kira will just say “Okay, we’ll stop and I’ll wait for you” and I don’t have to feel bad about it! How lucky am I?
- my father’s voice on the phone when I call to tell him about my day, and to find that he’s been online looking at maps of Whistler so he’d better know where I was.
- …and being waited for at the top of Harmony.
As I look at that list, I don’t see things like houses or money or anything big. Look at it yourself, and this is what you see:
- a feeling of joy
- a song
- delight at being remembered
- strength of friendship
- a feeling of being valued
It is the little things that matter the most. And now, It is the memories that matter in this house, not the house itself. I can’t lose those by selling my house. It is the feelings, the song, the delight, the friendship, love and the value that matter from my ski trip. I’m no longer in Whistler, but I can’t lose those either.
I got home, then headed back to Ottawa for meetings. As I was leaving, my boss and one of my colleagues both hugged me goodbye. Those things matter the most.
“My life is green grass through the snow , a sweet reckless hope, and baby I know what matters the most”