The Slice of Life March Writing Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers – 31 days of a writing community.
2008 was a tricky year, it was actually (unbeknownst to me at the time, thank goodness) the opening salvo to a series of tricky years. Sometime in the Fall of that year, scrolling through YouTube in search of videos for a lesson plan, I discovered Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s The Beckoning of Lovely.
I remember that it was very late at night, that the clocks had already moved into the next day. It was hard to focus on the lesson planning at hand, and I found myself thinking in circles, spiralling from one concern to the next in an ever tightening loop of despair and confusion.
Then, lovely beckoned:
Something within in me found comfort instantly. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone else gathering at “the bean” shared the same yearning for something lovely that I was feeling at that moment. Perhaps it was that although they gathered, they were uncertain about what they were gathering for: we don’t always know what we need, do we? Sometimes it’s just about showing up and hoping to be shown the way. Perhaps it was that gentle spirit of being open and welcoming the gifts of the moment – each person who gathered was grateful to be there, and willing to participate with childlike trust and joy. Or, perhaps it was Amy herself, the embodiment of lovely, orchestrating this collective of spirits in a celebration of lovely.
Whatever it was that first drew me in, I found myself returning to The Beckoning of Lovely time and time again. Each time, I felt my spirit settling into peace, I found myself a bit more ready to receive whatever was coming my way with great equanimity. That was the gift of lovely, Amy’s gift. It saved me.
Time marches on, as they say, and life settled down. It’s been a while since I had watched that magical gathering, until I read Amy’s New York Times article, wept, and felt that I needed to watch it again…and again.
The world is full of selfish, useless to anyone else people – and then there are beautiful souls who remind us of what it means to be good, to beckon the lovely every day. Thank you, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, thank you.