For a time in my life I was struck by a Beading Bug. Wherever I traveled I collected these tiny morsels of art, and as I strung them together I reconstituted the events and committed them to memory. I still celebrate places and people from long ago and far away by wearing the jewelry I created back then.
These last few days I’ve been so gob-smacked by the beauty, the juice, and the color of life that I’ve been bit again by the desire to collect and remember it all. It’s one thing to experience those deep moments of connection in the slowed-down season of summer. But sometimes it’s hard to remember them when life keeps pitching curve balls, knuckle balls, or speedballs, in the form of tasks and responsibilities that are necessary but not controllable.
So I’ve been catching stolen moments of sweetness and stringing them together like prayer or mala beads. I pull them together so that I can finger them when I’m in the dugout finishing taxes or making phone calls or completing insurance paperwork.
There’s a bead for the bluebird I saw in the meadow during my morning walk. Another for the face of the child who lives across the street. Another for my daughter’s honeyed voice, winding its soulful way through the wind as she rehearses her music. Another for the squeeze of my honey’s hand while we walk in the meadow.
And then there are a whole bunch of fuzzy white beads scattered throughout the collection for the little soft dog who’s my constant companion.
This past week I’ve been recovering from minor surgery, which has allowed me to add significantly to my collection as I recline with my leg elevated and watch the light on my deck at sunset. Or the smell of jasmine and the sound of the fountain in the sweetness and quiet of early morning.
As I catch the moments, the collection grows. But, unlike some of my bulkier creations of old, the weight around my neck just gets lighter and lighter. Soon it pulls me out of the dumps of daily duty…whether I’m managing finances or aiming to hit those occasional knuckle balls.
What about you? What does your Mala of Moments look like? When creating beads, it’s important to look for subtle ones to create a sense of harmony, rather than chaos. What moments recur in your days that hold your “prayer beads” together?