“It needs pink and gold sparkles.”
That’s what my daughter said when I asked her if she liked my new coat.
It just wasn’t up to her standards. Sure, it is long and warm, perfect for our cold, blustery winter. It is even a dark metallic grey, a joyful step from the traditional black. And better than that, it was on sale!
Yet, it wasn’t pink. Or purple. Or sparkle in the light.
Our 3-year-old is very wise.
I spend some time at senior residences/care facilities for a variety of reasons. It is amazing to see how people live, what they like, and what brings them joy.
Some have family pictures all around their space – some new, some old. Some are surrounded with the downsized version of their previous, more independent life. A number have two lives squeezed into a double room, a curtain dividing the space like tape down the center of a child’s shared bedroom.
And then there was one which I only caught a glimpse of: the room was filled with color and trinkets and beauty. The studio room literally smiled. And the room’s owner radiated joy.
This woman knows what it means to add pink and gold sparkles to her life.
I know stuff isn’t supposed to matter. I spent years getting what worked, was cheaper, and wasn’t completely embarrassing. Preferring jeans and a plain colored Target t-shirt to actually thinking about if something fits right or has acceptable style. Have to admit, I still do it at times. A lot of the time.
Yet, I can tell you that I will never, ever purchase a boring, basic spiral notebook to write in again. Somehow the beautiful pattern on a cover enhances the experience of filling its pages.
I will continue to arrange things artfully in my home, and take the extra time to mold a class on on theology into experiential spiritual experience.
I take an extra moment to get the right angle when taking a picture, and a few extra shots to capture the spark reflected in the eyes.
Our experience of creation does matter, even if it is cluttered or sparse, extravagant or simple. We are in these bodies for such a short time, and at the various stages of life only briefly.
Value your unique experience of the world. Value your time. Value your life.