I love this book! It's not that I haven't looked forward to things so much as that I've taken looking forward for granted. Just another part of life, just another part of a day, week, month, year. No big deal. This book, Things to Look Forward To: Large and Small Joys for Today and Everyday, reminds me how important having things to look forward to can be, how they can add a little spark, a little light to our days, especially after more than two years of a pandemic and all the limitations it put on us.
For each of the 52 things in the book, the author, Sophie Blackall, includes a painting and a few lines or paragraphs with her thoughts about it.
Sophie Blackall has won two Caldecott Awards (for best children's picture book). I can see why. Her paintings, done with Chinese Ink and watercolor, are delightful.
After reading her book I decided to make my own list of things I look forward to, things that happen spontaneously as well as ones I anticipate or plan for in advance. (You know the delight of anticipation!) These are some of them, in no particular order.
- Ice water, especially in the morning but any time, really.
- Rainy days
- Being with my grandchildren again
- Gathering and drying lavender and sweet grass
- Clean sheets. Even though it's a weekly event, it still feels like a luxury.
- Seeing a row of birds on an electric wire. We see them gather in late afternoons along the freeway, which is about the time we're coming home if we've been up north.
- Autumn with its glisten, crunch, and glow
- The fragrance of honeysuckle
- Watching a well-loved movie
- Trader Joe's chocolate croissants. We bring them home frozen then let them rise overnight and bake them in the morning. Fresh from the oven they are delicious.
- Sundays, for worship and physical, mental, and emotional rest from daily activities, concerns, and challenges
- Spending time at the ocean
- Fresh, homemade, crusty artisan bread with Jai Lai butter. The Jai Lai restaurant no longer exists but its butter recipe (with the perfect blend of herbs) lives on.
- A murmuration of starlings. I love watching them dip and sway, then turn on a dime to fly another way. Amazing.
How about you? Do you have things you look forward to? What are some of them?