Sources of Joy: Savoring the Day’s Gifts

I’ve not read Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, but I did read many years ago a phrase from it that has resonated with me ever since: “Trifles make the sum of life.”

I’ve had many trifles today.

One of them was unquestionably meeting Matthew Kai Lowenstein, our nephew, on Skype.

He’s just 10 days old.

Like many, if not all, children his age, his existence largely consists of eating, sleeping, burping and what my brother Mike called “pooing.”

I know I’m biased, and I can confidently say he’s beautiful.

To me, he’s got heavy elements of Lowenstein, Mike in particular, in his mouth, nose and ears. His black hair is like Annie’s, Mike’s wife, and he’s also got round cheeks and Asian-looking eyes.

We had been trying to meet him for a few days, and tonight it worked.

Mike held him up to the camera so that we could get a close look at him.

We chatted and watched for about half an hour as he did his standard activities.

It was a true treat.

The sighting was just the end of a day of connections, conversations and reminders large and small of my good fortune.

We drove Aidan to the airport this morning and received a hug and a smile before he departed.

I had a fresh and still warm sesame bagel for breakfast.

Dunreith drove me to work.

Rodolfo, Octavio, the rest of the team and I made plans to celebrate the completion of our major project about Central Illinois on Thursday night.

Longtime friend Dave Russell called to catch up for a brief moment.

I heard the latest installation of Mom’s daily adventures and shared some of my own.

I read two of what Joyce Carol Oates called the best American essays of the 20th century. The first, from James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son, recounted his father’s death and Baldwin’s reaction to it. The second, by Eudora Welty, described her insatiable love of reading that was fueled during her childhood at the local library.

I carved out some space to reflect on what matters most in life.

My dear friend Steve shared some writing he had done with me and to which I had given my input.

I ate a healthy dinner with Dunreith.

And I sat down to give my thoughts and feeling some concrete form right here.

I’ve written it before many times, and I felt it again today.

I am a deeply fortunate man, living in the center of a web of loving connection and sources of meaning.


2 responses to “Sources of Joy: Savoring the Day’s Gifts

  1. Thanks, Jeff, for the reminder to savor each moment. It is the simple connections that nourish and give meaning to our lives. Such a wise old Soul you are.

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