I am writing by candlelight this morning, sipping a cup of coffee that is perhaps more sugar and milk than anything else; the color is caramel, and in the semi-dark of this room, I can watch the steam rise from the mug, swirling and dancing itself into disappearance.
I woke up early this morning and my mind has been going non-stop. I went for a quick run, getting called out by friends I saw on their way to the spinning class I’d cajoled them into attending, upon promises that I would be there too. I excused myself by saying I didn’t have time, for I have work to do this morning for my second job. That is true, and this post won’t be long, or probably even proofread.
The thing I’m considering the most this morning is the idea of a perfect day. What is yours? No, no, don’t answer that; I’m not interested in the pat answer you would offer if someone who you didn’t really know said that to you. I’m not thinking of the curl-up-in-bed-watching-movies answer that so many of us would offer, and which does, admittedly, sound wonderful.
Instead, I’m thinking of the perfect days you cannot yet imagine, because they have not yet happened. When I look at my entire life, I can think of a handful of experiences that truly lacked for nothing, which I wish I could build my life upon over and over. They are not the days I would describe if someone asked; they are the days that happened, exactly as they were supposed to happen, and I couldn’t have wished for them. They just came.
I know that every day contains good and bad, and that the ones that I’m thinking of now were not free from negativity, in all likelihood. But any that was there has been eclipsed by the positive, and by the joy.
My perfect days would mean nothing to you. I can’t describe them in detail in a way you would understand, because they are so tied to emotion, and so tied to the moment in which they happened, that they couldn’t be examined objectively, or shared fully with anyone who did not also experience them. Among many that I will remember for the rest of my life:
A day in a canoe.
An utterly stereotypical Parisian day.
A rainy summer evening.
An overnight in New York.
One morning, in my apartment in Virginia.
That time with the strawberry cheesecake ice cream.
A picnic at the ocean.
I don’t strive for perfection. As a good friend says, done is better than good. Still, when I am not seeking it or wishing for it or needing it, sometimes perfection finds me, anyway. On this morning, with its candles and coffee and thought, I’m reflecting on the many surprises of life. The possibility of those days is one of my favorites.