I am sure there are better ways to spend a summer afternoon than hanging out in the front yard enjoying a cold one with friends.
But I am not sure what those ways could be.
We did that the other day, after a hard morning of planting flowers. We chatted quietly while we planted, sometimes with each other, but mostly to the flowers.
“There you go,” we would say, as we gently blessed each plant carefully with just the right amount of water.
“Please grow. Please blossom. Please spread out your tiny little leaves. Please turn our yard into a thing of beauty.”
Anyway, we planted and chatted with the plants and then, finally, we painfully stood up, brushed the dirt off our knees and scrubbed our hands clean. We were done.
And so, we pulled out our lawn chairs and the neighbours pulled out their lawn chairs and the sun laughed and kissed us all as we drank a cold beverage and laughed and chatted over not very much at all.
And, in that moment, it seemed that time stood still.
And it was good.
And I realize there are better ways to spend an evening than sitting around a table with family, swallowing delightful chunks of history along with our barbecued steak and cherry cheesecake.
But I have no idea what that would be.
I especially enjoyed listening to my nephew, who sat, most comfortably, at the head of the table and regaled us all colorful tales of his life, his stories liberally interspersed with his own particular brand of sparkling wit and laughter.
And I suspect that some people would not find it absolutely fascinating to listen to their teenage grandchildren , momentarily drop their teenage lingo, and tell you their opinions about the riots and the demonstrations that have in some ways, grabbed the headlines from the coronavirus.
But I do.
I am incredibly proud of these kids, aged 16 and 17, who are hovering on the edge of adulthood, momentarily caught in the twilight zone between childhood and being all grown up.
The pandemic has changed the world for these kids. Months ago, my oldest granddaughter was planning to walk across the aisle in front of a huge crowd of family and friends dressed in a stunning new gown, to receive her diploma.
That, of course, is not going to happen.
This week, as the world continues to spin on its axis, and the headlines change to reflect brutality, outrage and a general sense of unease, my own little world has continued in a delightful bubble of tranquility and, if I do say so myself, joy.
And I feel quite rich, even though the harsh and unexpectedly sudden economic effects of the pandemic have not passed me by.
But, for now, for such a time as this when the air smells good and clean and fresh, like laundry hanging on a clothesline and my flowers greet me every morning, bright and new, happiness is not illusive like a butterfly.
It is right here!