This I Believe

Julietta - Rochester, New York
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: gratitude
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“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.