Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

the author's

the author’s

After big family get-togethers, most of us think of dishes. Me, I think of leftovers! Even after we send the holiday ham home w/ a niece & nephew, even after to-go packages are made for a sister, there are TONS of food left.

So today? Breakfast is a doppio con wanna, homemade — two shots of espresso w/ the new machine (it’s wonderful!) and leftover whipped cream. How great a breakfast is THAT?

Somewhere, in the many writings of the Dalai Lama, is a phrase I’ve taken to heart: Why would you disavow your happy life? I’ve written about it before, adding that the Dalai Lama tells us that the purpose of life is happiness. A side note: the Dalai Lama adds that material happiness is only one form of happiness, and certainly not the most enduring!

But as I do the dishes (piles!) after a wonderful evening with sisters, nephews, nieces, and a GRANDniece, celebrating the New Year, I wonder if leftovers aren’t a kind of material afterglow. Yes — I had authentic conversations w/ my youngest niece, with her mother, my youngest sister. And yes, I’m so very glad that my youngest nephew is comfortable enough to go in to the other room & take a nap when he needs one. Not to mention how proud of their cooking abilities I am, or the (much more important!) wonderful people they’ve each become.

the author's

the author’s

So whipped cream is just that: a tiny lagniappe, something totally bonus. It’s the equivalent of icing on the best of cakes. Like afternoon tea, in an odd way — icing the lemon chess pie I made instead of the usual pumpkin. My (many!) material blessings are so very wonderful, but they pale against healthy sons, a perfect DIL, a grandson who (at 2 1/2!) tries to play his tiny guitar as he sings the ABCs. They take their tertiary (quaternary?) place behind my adorable beloved, my amazing sisters, my beautiful & talented nieces & nephews. Even my über cool cat!

Today, I wish you the afterglow of leftovers — the dollop of whipped cream that is your material life, next to all your most important priorities. I wish you afternoon tea in the warm winter sunlight. And the wisdom not to disavow your happy life.

 

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