Monday, July 11, 2011

It's A Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day. Of course it's grey and raining where I am as I write this from a week long vacation along the Southern Oregon coast, and I have no idea what the weather is like back home in Northern California right now, but if there is one thing I learned living in a rainforest in Alaska for 13 years, the weather itself does not determine a beautiful day. It can help, for sure, but it is certainly not the sole indicator. Because I'm going to have a beautiful day, even if I don't get to go crabbing this afternoon, or 4-wheeling on the dunes. Whatever the weather, wherever you are, I hope you have a beautiful day too. Here's one from the Best Of files!

How do you know when a beautiful day is presenting itself to you? When a good day is offering itself up to you like an unexpected gift?

Is it waking up to a good morning kiss from your lover, with the smell of brewing coffee wafting from the kitchen? Is it when the weather is so nice that you sleep with the windows open, and the morning greets you with birdsongs and sunshine streaming through the drapes? Or is it the sound of two little feet padding into the room, and crawling into bed with you for a cuddle. Is that when you know it's gonna be a beautiful day?

For me, it's all of those things.
Its my dog giving me morning loves, and then jumping off the bed to follow me to the kitchen.
Its opening the sliding glass door in my dining room and gazing at the first bulbs I've ever planted, which have now bloomed into beautiful pink dahlias, still wet from an early morning watering; the smell of basil and homegrown tomatoes growing in the planter in the backyard.
Its a fresh grapefruit from my friend Leona's tree and strawberries purchased from the guy on the corner with a pickup truck and a sign propped up against it.
Its playing softball with my friends out at Big League Dreams and catching the ball I didn't think I'd get.
Its riding my bike across the Sundial Bridge and wading into the water at Whiskeytown.
Its a beautiful day when I'm on the road and the weather is so perfect that I drive recklessly for just a wee few moments, left arm out the window, right arm sticking up through the sunroof, surfing on Highway 44 over the river… look ma, no hands!
Yes, sometimes I do that. But only when it's a beautiful day. And only for a few moments.

Sometimes even when it wasn't a beautiful day, it can turn into one when my friend Judy calls at dusk and asks if I'm free for dinner, then we quickly figure out what bounty we've each got to offer for the table, and we catch up over a bottle of Retsina, a Greek Salad and some watermelon on the back porch. And suddenly, it's a beautiful evening. A good, good night.

I'm going on my 14th year in Redding, and I never get tired of these beautiful days. I consider myself the luckiest girl on the planet to have this city, my friends and family, this beautiful weather, and the only thing that really makes it even better, or can turn a so-so day into a perfect day, is having the right music to go along with it.

So let's have a good day. Let's have a spectacular, beautiful, perfect day. I hope this Spotify playlist puts a smile on your face and makes it even better; makes it perfect, with a homegrown cherry tomato on top.

U2 - It's A Beautiful Day
Luce - Good Day
Nappy Roots - Good Day
John Legend - Sun Comes Up
The Beatles and/or Nina Simone - Here Comes The Sun
Norah Jones - Sunrise
Michael Franti & Spearhead - Sound of Sunshine
Maroon 5 - Sunday Mornings
Sting - Brand New Day
Maysa - Sunshine
Jesus Jackson - Running on Sunshine
Mosquitos - Sunshine Barato
Smashmouth - Walking On The Sun
The Beatles - Good Day Sunshine
Sheryl Crow - Soak Up The Sun
The Stranglers - Always The Sun
The The - This Is The Day
Akon featuring Wyclef Jean - Sunny Day
Coldplay - Daylight
The Eels - Mr. E's Beautiful Blues
Lou Reed - Perfect Day
Black Eyed Peas - I Got A Feeling (Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night)

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