“New and Goods”
There’s nothing extraordinary about my life. It’s characterized by particular sensibilities and inclinations, but it has a rhythm to it, like most everyone’s. I work, I have a family, and I have friends.
Yet problems arise; small crises need a response. Into this life come moments of delight. I notice but often forget them by day’s end. I suppose they are like cardinals, bright red against barren limbs: I hear their song and can hardly miss them, yet I take them for granted.
I could say, then, that today I spied a female cardinal chowing down at the feeder, which I did. Her orange-red beak was a speck of color, in contrast to muted grey feathers.
As I get older, though, it’s important to mark and remember these sightings, along with the host of others that occur in any day or week. At dinner, my husband Tom and I try to conjure up at least one.
“Okay,” Tom says, as he slurps spaghetti and sauce. “Enough complaining. I promised. Here’s a ‘new and good’”.
That is what we call these incidents I forget to notice. They’re “new and goods”, both unusual and good. It’s an idea borrowed from a friend and it gives us a lens for looking at daily life.
An inventory of recent “new and goods” produces these:
…an email from Priscilla who lives a day’s trip away, with an invitation to visit;
…sleeping in ‘til 8:30 on Saturday morning;
…finding a solution to the driveway apron’s muddy tracks;
…leaving work at lunch to go pick up a fishing license– that’s Tom’s.
Some new and goods are small; others have significance, like visiting Priscilla.
Often, we have to dig deep to find a new and good.
Tom says, “Have you got one?”
I reply, “Hmmm. Let’s see. Can’t think of anything…Wait! I had Cheerios instead of oatmeal for breakfast.”
“Good enough”, he answers, and we laugh.
I believe in the power of new and goods, for they help frame a complex and often troubled world. This I believe: that new and goods expand the spirit with the bounty of an attentive life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.