I spotted the Santa holding the globe on an after- Christmas sale table. That’s mine, I thought and wasn’t sure why I was so attracted to it. But then looking around my house, I was reminded of the globes and maps I’d collected, drawn to the landforms of the earth and the blues of the oceans. I remembered the first globe I was attracted to– the one in the wooden stand in Miss Harrington’s fourth grade.
It was located near the large casement window in our classroom in the two-story brick building of Jonesboro School — the same one where my father had graduated. I remember how I loved her geography class where we learned about faraway places.
Now I consider how as an adult I started taking solo journeys, pilgrimages to places that my heart is drawn to. At first, I thought it was surprising how I’d found this path during that first trip to Sedona. But now I feel there were clues in my childhood that I’d forgotten as an adult, especially once life became so busy when I entered my profession and then had a family. My focus shifted to my sons’ favorite things, trying to provide them with what they were uniquely drawn to.
Sometimes we lose ourselves along the way, that child within us pushed down under the weight of adulthood. During the holiday season, I think we have glimpses back to what we loved them. Sometimes we can get clues from childhood photos. When I found an old black and white of me, along with my two sisters and kids from the neighborhood, I realized there were three things that made me happy in that picture: being outside, my dog beside me, and my bike that was my pretend horse.
Years later, when I took my first intentional journey to Jekyll Island, Georgia, I realized I’d been drawn there because of the extensive bike trails. Hopping on that bike to explore the island made me feel like I was the same age as that girl in the picture, riding the sandy roads of our farm. It didn’t matter that at Jekyll Island I was fifty. When you do the activities you love you can be transported to any age.
Because things we love can ground us, it’s important to have them all around. I think of how these can appeal to our five senses. When we’re sick, we want that cozy blanket to swaddle us, the feel of the cloth settling our nervous system. I have a tan-colored corduroy coat that immediately calms me. Touching it reminds me of favorite clothing from childhood. I’ll probably wear that coat until it’s threadbare and my family forces me to get rid of it.
The smell of lavender reminds me of the gentle care of my lymphedema massage therapist, how she uses lavender lotion, a healing balm. When I’m having a tough day, slowing down and inhaling the scent of lavender calms me.
Tasting cinnamon feels like a special treat. I put it on cereal, coffee, yogurt, and everything that I can. It doesn’t even have to be paired with brown sugar to be satisfying.
Listening to certain songs immediately improves my mood, or makes me want to get up and dance, or elevates me to a state of praise and thanksgiving. I also find that listening to silence anchors me in the present, mindful of what is before me.
I remember now how my eyes first encountered the Santa before I picked him up and made him mine. My prayer for you as we prepare to enter the new year is that you will surround yourself with your favorite things, and take the time to do your favorite activities in 2018. I hope you will make all those things yours.
How about you?
What are your favorite things?
Is your home filled with those things that are special to you?
What activities did you love as a child? Are you doing them now? If not, how could you start?
4 thoughts on “Your Favorite Things”
Nice post. Very thought provoking. I immediately began thinking of the things that are most satisfying to my own senses. Things that immediately come to mind: touch-the way my sweet 11 yr. old Shi-Tzu feels against my bare legs under the covers; smell-lilacs, as they remind me of when I was a child; taste-the way that corned beef and cabbage tastes just like Christmas on a plate; sight-sunrises on the Gulf of Mexico/FL Panhandle, the prettiest I have ever seen; sound-rain. Happy new year to you. 🙂
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Thanks for sharing your lists of favorites, Wendy. My daughter-in-law has a Shi-Tzu and she would definitely agree with you! Interesting how much you love corned beef and cabbage. I didn’t have that as a child so I’m just developing a taste for it. Wish I knew that smell of lilacs! Enjoy those things in 2018! Thanks for reading, Connie
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Hi Connie, I enjoyed this reading also. I find it interesting to note that you mention being in “Miss Harrington”’s class in several of your writings. When I had her, she was Miss Morse but then married Mr. Harrington from Broadway. She had been an old maid school teacher for a long time., Our class gave her a shower as best we were able to do as fourth graders. I guess I should say a party.
I think she liked me a lot but I dreaded being weighed in class for she would often make comments about those who were too heavy and those who were too skinny, In some ways she reminded me of Aunt Ethel. I remember that she drove an ugly black Ford. She did praise me for my academic ability in her class which is what I needed to do to overcome being so heavy and a chronic nail biter until I was 14. Don Rosser was also in the class and she liked him even though he was also too heavy. She did praise me in front of the class for getting 4 weeks of spelling tests on one paper front and back. Of course Daddy and Mama drilled thriftiness and I was carrying out what I knew. The next year, Joan Childress chided me for writing on the back of my papers and also accused me of having Mama or Daddy to write my short story “Huge World With Giants”. It was a take off on Castaways in Lilliput. Mama had to talk with her and explain that she could not have written a short story like that. I guess it was a left handed compliment. Joan was actually our fifth cousin as her Grandpa Kelly and our Grandma Smith were first cousins!! Take care and may you be published a lot in 2018. H
I believe you were blessed to have had Miss Rogers for your fifth grade teacher, She was Ed Rogers’ aunt. I had a serious interest in Ed but I got to know him too late. I know that you did not like him. I believe that he was also attracted to me. Emily had him for a substitute teacher at Northwood and she identified herself to him. He kind of light up and smiled and said “We had some good times together”. He married a redhead Helen McLeod from Lillington and they had about 5-6 children!! I could not have had that many children for sure!!
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Thanks for reading and filling me in on Miss Harrington. Didn’t realize she had ever been married. Thanks for your good wishes for my publication. Nice to have my older sister’s encouragement! Best to you in 2018, too! Connie