Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Week of Happy Things

This was a week of very happy things, making me regret not having posted more often. Honestly I have no good excuse for not posting more often, considering my homework load was particularly light this week, but I still probably only averaged seven hours of sleep every night. I got distracted somewhere, I suppose, perhaps with all the happy things going on around me! But it would seem quite silly to write a post about my regret for not posting more this week about my week of happy things, because who says I can't just share all my happy things in one post? Snippets of happy things combined into one big happy post?? Little vignettes, my favorite type of writing style: short and poetic and vivid and to the point, perfect for capturing little moments. (Although these are nowhere near polished, so please excuse their lack of poetic quality. I suppose they're more like little rambles of happy things.) If you're interested, Sandra Cisneros has beautiful vignettes in her book, "House on Mango Street." I still find myself returning to her book whenever I'm in need of inspiration.


Happy Vignette #1: Pick Up the Heart

The sky is ocean and the ocean is sky. At this time of day, the horizon line blurs so it is just one big canvas. The air is cool but there's a warm breeze blowing off the water. It's probably not much colder there than it is out here. Everything is at equilibrium, serenity, peace. Everything is at a standstill. The ocean is like one big sheet of Plexi glass, the clouds hover in a blue/gray mass but do only that. It's like running through a still life, a television show on pause.

As I run, I watch my step, avoid tripping over the jagged rocks, when I see a heart rock, stretched from the sides with long wings and a squat torso. But by the time it has registered in my head it is a heart rock I am already past and too stubborn or non-caring to turn back. Immediately I scold myself. "Why'd you do that?! That was the perfect heart rock!" Whatever. It's not the end of the world. But then, less than a minute later, I stumble upon another heart rock; bigger, better, screaming louder to be picked. This one's full and hearty, like a big bowl of homemade oatmeal. Again, I run past. But no...back up. I force myself to turn around. This is a sign, almost as if saying, "You didn't take the first one. Here's your second chance." A second chance at love. A second chance to live in the moment. Because what reason is there not for me to turn around and get the rock? So I run back. At first I think it's too big to carry, but Mom and Michael say we'll manage. We do. We take turns carrying it all the way home, spreading and sharing and passing along the love.

Happy Vignette #2: The Little Fishies That Could
Paddle, paddle. Swim, swim. Don't give up! You're almost there! "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, that's what you do is swim, swim," Dorey's words of encouragement come back to me from a favorite childhood movie, "Finding Nemo." What a smart little fish, Dorey is! Despite her poor memory and sometimes harmful naiveness, she never loses hope. No matter what predator she and Marlin ran into, no matter where the current took them, she just kept swimming. Swimming through life. 

As I watch the little herrings struggle up the ladder––the final leg of their journey––I am reminded of this song. Herring (also known as alewives) are one of the most abundant fishes in the world. Every year between April and May, the herring make their journey from the ocean to freshwater ponds and brooks to spawn, a sure sign of spring on the Cape. Their migrations are called a herring run, and assisting them in the final portion of their journey are ladders built at Stony Brook in Brewster, MA. (To read more about them, click on this link.)

After a week of 80ยบ weather, the sun decided to take a break last weekend, so Sunday was cloudy and sleepy. But if you looked hard enough, you could see the little herring flapping their fins, swimming with all odds against them, and finally, when confidence was high enough, making the leap to the next level. Then they would swim to a corner to catch their breath, where they would rest awhile, building their anticipation. I couldn't help cheering for them every time one made a leap, and crying for them (not literally) when one would miss the jump and slide back down the levels like Chutes & Ladders. I also couldn't help feeling a bit angry at the seagulls who selfishly circled the perimeter of the brook, waiting to swoop for an easy meal. Other seagulls were so fat they couldn't even fly, so they perched on a nearby bench, eyes wide with greed. But to think these little fish had come all this way was admirable, and thinking of them swimming up that ladder made me think about the hardest workout I've ever done, and agree this journey was probably harder.

Happy Vignette #3: A New Recipe

Okay, so this recipe isn't ingenious. I didn't even have to turn on the stove or mix something in a blender. It simply combines all of my favorite foods in a nutritious and utterly delicious snack that is perfect for a post-workout, pre-workout, mood-booster, any time snack! There's no complicated directions or ingredients, and substitutions are welcome and highly recommended. During play rehearsal week I was eating and drinking honey like my body was made of it because it's supposed to be good for the vocal cords. So, to give myself an extra dose of honey, one morning I decided to squirt a little honey on my toasted English muffin with peanut butter. The honey melted like ice cream under hot fudge on the warm peanut butter, becoming runny and dripping over the edges (so this is a bit messy!) But, for those of you who have been following my weekly "Did you notice..." updates and who read my post about oatmeal, you know I love texture in my food. The crunch of granola in oatmeal, the hot and cold of a warm brownie with ice cream, you name it! I also love the presentation of food. One time I ordered French Toast at a restaurant and it was just four slices of yellow bread (cooked of course) on a plate; no strawberry, no whipped cream, no accessories. It had quite a bland personality. Anyways, the other night I was making myself my new peanut butter and honey English muffin obsession and I decided to slice up a banana on top (I used three slices on each), and for that extra crunch, a few almonds. And now I have a new obsession. The carbs from the English muffin, the potassium from the banana, the protein from the peanut butter, the sugar from the honey, and the fat from the can't get better than that! I guess I could call this "invention" "Megan's Obsession." I encourage you to try some of your own variations with your own foods...maybe Nutella and honey? Nutella and jam? A different fruit? Pick your favorite foods and give it a whirl! I would love to hear what you come up with.

Happy Vignette #4: Fifteen

This week, I am the girl in Taylor Swift's song "Fifteen." Dancing around my room, lost in giddiness (I think my character from Pirates of Penzance might be rubbing off on me). When I first turned fifteen, I didn't feel any different from fourteen. My friend told me fifteen was going to be my year. I laughed, hoping she was right, hoping that something interesting would happen! But I wasn't getting my hopes up. Now, something is finally happening! All week I've been adding to my playlist, picking songs to fit my mood and listening to them on repeat. What I love about music is how a song can perfectly sum up everything you're feeling. It's almost as if the song was written for you! And when you have someone in mind when listening to a song, it makes it all the better.


What makes you happy? Do you like re-watching your favorite childhood movies? What's your comfort food? Do you collect anything? I would love to hear your stories, and as always thank you to those who participate in "Did you notice..." and to all those who comment. I love hearing from you! And of course, thank you to all of you who stop by and read. It's exciting for me to think who might be seeing this; it's exciting to have an audience! I hope your week is very happy and inspiring.

Sweet & Happy Dreams,

Megan ;)

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