Long ago, there was a beautiful movie entitled Mask. It is a biographical drama about Rocky Dennis, a boy with lionitis, and his free-spirited mother. In the final scene, we hear a voiceover of actor Rocky reciting a poem written by the real-life Rocky:
These things are good: ice cream and cake, a ride on a Harley, seeing monkeys in the trees, the rain on my tongue, and the sun shining on my face.
These things are a drag: dust in my hair, holes in my shoes, no money in my pocket, and the sun shining on my face.
In this hard and scary time, it’s easy to think of things that are a drag (to use 1970s lingo). This morning, though, I found myself dwelling on good things I’ve personally observed or experienced over the past several days. Here’s my list; I encourage you to make one of your own.
Clean sheets on my bed
Finding the other sock
Ridiculously comfortable fleece pants:
Free continuing legal education webinars I can participate in from home via Zoom (another good thing)
A soup mug which is the perfect size in which to scramble the eggs for a bacon-and-egg sandwich on an English muffin:
Turning 60 just in time to qualify for senior shopping hours at the local grocery store
Rehearsing via Zoom with the indefatigable GM Chorale
Birthday gifts that arrive after my birthday so that every few days, something wonderful is showing up at my door:
Impossibly blue skies:
Getting my tire repaired at no charge (I had no idea there even was such a thing as rebeading a tire)
Chalk messages on the road:
Walking the mile from the tire repair store to the pharmacy easily and safely on unoccupied sidewalks
Unclogging the bathtub drain and watching the water flow freely
Time to read new books, library books which have been renewed indefinitely, and books that have been languishing in the to-read pile for longer than I like to admit
Clients who pay their bills
Unintentionally hilarious ads arriving in the mail at inopportune times:
(Yes, this is real.)
My neighbor and her son playing catch to celebrate Opening Day
Memories of my sweet Buddy on the second anniversary of his passing:
A handwritten note from my courtly voice teacher
A spring snowstorm, here one day and gone the next:
Chocolate pudding made with a splash of raspberry liqueur, served with fresh raspberries and whipped cream (highly recommended)
Cats who are in especially cuddly moods:
The luxurious feeling as you rub in the hand lotion and feel the moisturizer refreshing your frequently-washed skin
Paying all the bills and still having something left
Christmas decorations even though it’s spring:
Garbage pickup continuing in spite of everything
The sparrows building a nest in the windowbox outside the kitchen window, seemingly unfazed by their feline audience:
People coming together in ways large and small to help each other in this unprecedented situation
Cats who help with the writing:
Cats who ensure that I’ve backed up my work:
A day of rest and peace because even though there’s still housework and laundry and tax preparation and a dozen other things to do, we’re still here, and even though we can’t be together physically, we can still phone and text and write and email and meet online and wave and call out to one another from across the road. And even if we can’t do any of those things, we can still think of one another and pray for one another and do our best to support one another in whatever ways we can.
Because right now, that’s the best good thing of all.