September 5, 2007

Contentment

(written last night)

It's night, pitch black outside. I'm sitting in the new kitchen, at our new kitchen table with my back to the bay window that overlooks our backyard. A few minutes ago, I turned left to look towards the living room. Something white moving outside caught my eye. It was one of the half-dozen frogs living in our pond. It was scooting across the bottom edge of the window. He inched his way across the window and positioned himself behind my right shoulder. Then he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep, dreaming about what ever it is frogs dream about. I know he's alive. The puffy white area below his little mouth is pulsing. He has his four-suckered right hand against the window. He looks...content. Or at least, I'd imagine this is what a content frog looks like, not having any first-hand experience or special insight into frog emotions.

I don't know why this situations means so much to me but it does.

Mia is upstairs sleeping. Beth is downstairs, typing a post for one of her sites. Inside her, a baby grows. All of this - sleeping, typing, growing, odd amphibian-spawned introspection - happens within the walls of our new house. Outside fish swim, crickets hum, grasshoppers hop and dragonflies do whatever it is they do at 8:39 on a Tuesday night. And frogs curl up and sleep behind me.

Yet, maybe I've just solved one of the many mysteries of the universe. Stick with me here.

The other morning, I asked Mia what lived in our yard. We've seen so many things on our explorations. She immediately came up with fish and frogs then remembered the snake we saw a few weeks ago. Then dragonflies, crickets and grasshoppers. Followed by the moon. I was about to protest but then I remembered we'd seen it hanging over our backyard each morning this weekend. It made perfect sense. For Mia, the universe is her parents, this new house and the yard and things that populate it. My universe used to be like that too. For years and years that universe expands for us all. But eventually, at some mysterious point, it begins to contract. Sure, the knowledge and experiences continue to grow but the things most important to you - your family, your home, your friends - shape the universe as you know it.

This is the center of my universe. A place populated by the ones I love, a few fish, some rather loud crickets, a moon, and a frog sleeping over my shoulder. And I, like the frog, am content.

Posted by Chris at September 5, 2007 7:09 AM
Comments

Beautifully written. I hope to find such contentment, peace one day.

Posted by: Maria at September 5, 2007 7:18 AM

Lovely. I can feel the happiness in you. You are a lucky man.

Posted by: Alissa at September 5, 2007 7:57 AM

Beautiful post! I'll tell the frogs in our garden they are welcome in your home ;)

Posted by: Nadine at September 5, 2007 8:04 AM

That is wonderful. It's nice sometimes to see other people feel content. It reminds me of the times that I have felt that way, and encourages the hope that I will again soon. You are a lucky person.

Posted by: Ross at September 5, 2007 8:12 AM

Perfect! Thanks for the reminder that its the little things in our life that make it content and happy.

Posted by: linda at September 5, 2007 8:27 AM

It's funny how, afteer all those years, the center of your universe is back where it was before...at your home, with your family.

Great post.

Posted by: Jonathon Morgan at September 5, 2007 8:49 AM

One of those moments in time you would like to freeze.

Posted by: BID at September 5, 2007 8:54 AM

Beautiful.

Posted by: Fraulein N at September 5, 2007 8:56 AM

Very nice. For moments like that we put up with all the chaos and it makes it all worth it.

Posted by: Jeff St Real at September 5, 2007 9:01 AM

Content frogs mean a lot to us, I think, because the insightful can look at them and realize that it's possible. It's rare that daily life provides such assurances, so we soak up nuggets of hope wherever and from whatever we can. Frogs and crickets excel at this, especially in the evening (this is why I think everyone should have a backyard).

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at September 5, 2007 9:21 AM

That is a good place to be.

Posted by: William at September 5, 2007 9:23 AM

I am not sure a comment will do justice to what you wrote. I have written about this on several occasions. I feel the same way often. My family, my home, my life is in focus like it has never been before. I have never been so content in all of my adult life and that is a wonderful rich deep feeling. Amazing!

Posted by: Christina at September 5, 2007 9:51 AM

oh baby, you had me at "stick with me...."

contentment.

perfect.

Posted by: speck at September 5, 2007 9:54 AM

What a lovely, happy post. It is great to see you so contented. You and the frog, but since I've never met him, I'm happier for you.

Posted by: bad penguin at September 5, 2007 9:57 AM

It is so refreshing to see someone 'get' it. But then, you are one of those deep thinkers that I would expect to.

Great post.
Great life.
Congratulations.

Posted by: sue at September 5, 2007 10:29 AM

Such a contented post. I have now relaxed as I am sitting here resting before starting my next project.

Posted by: Maribeth at September 5, 2007 10:35 AM

You spread contentment with you words.

Posted by: wordgirl at September 5, 2007 11:54 AM

YOUR words. Sorry.

Posted by: wordgirl at September 5, 2007 11:55 AM

YOUR words. Sorry.

Posted by: wordgirl at September 5, 2007 11:55 AM

Wonderful. Congratulations. I know it is not without some significant effort that you've found yourself here. And I like to think that adds to the contentment I feel as well.

Posted by: Brad at September 5, 2007 12:03 PM

Beautifully written.

Posted by: Jenn at September 5, 2007 12:21 PM

This made me smile.

Posted by: JuJuBee at September 5, 2007 1:20 PM

I once asked my mother if she had a happy marriage. "No. But I am content with my life. Happy is to fleeting, content lasts longer" She wasn't much of a philosopher, but she got that right. And you have it down now. Content is the best for a life. And BID has it also, soak it up now cuz these moments will be few and far between.

Posted by: joss is boss at September 5, 2007 1:20 PM

Lately, life has been anything but calm, but I've tried to hold onto and remember moments like yours, when the cat is fed and the house is quiet and the rain is falling softly outside the bedroom window - when there are no worries, no places to be, no phones to answer.

Maybe you should name the frog. I have about 40 in a drainage ditch behind my house. I could send you a few?

Posted by: Emily at September 5, 2007 2:41 PM

very sweet

Posted by: Amaya at September 5, 2007 5:50 PM

Wow, that was profound! And beautiful, of course. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: ironic1 at September 5, 2007 6:35 PM

Happy frogs = the goodness.

Posted by: Sphincter at September 5, 2007 7:41 PM

Great post! It sounds like you and Beth moved for the exact same reasons we did. Are you sure we didn't move to the same neighbourhood?
8:39 and Mia's asleep? Wow! Now I'm jealous!

Posted by: Just Janice at September 5, 2007 9:44 PM

What's awesome is I am reading this, with INSANELY loud crickets outside my window, and I am feeling content for the first time in weeks. Thanks.

Posted by: aimee/greeblemonkey at September 5, 2007 11:41 PM

I would be content too...if my 2 year old slept at 8:30 PM!!

Posted by: NM at September 6, 2007 12:39 AM

That is the most beautiful post I think I have ever come across. Wow. I think I'll read it again.

Posted by: Nanette at September 6, 2007 3:44 AM

Beautiful post, unfortunately frogs are afraid to come near my house because of my children.

Posted by: hayley at September 6, 2007 5:03 AM

Nice......

Posted by: at September 6, 2007 9:41 AM

What a wonderful post. I only find that kind of contentment when I'm on the trail or on the river.

Nanette sent me.

Stacie

Posted by: Stacie at September 6, 2007 8:29 PM

I wish I had a frog over my shoulder. You are a very lucky man Chris!

Posted by: kari1 at September 7, 2007 1:40 PM

Contentment is swell. I'm very glad you're experiencing it. :)

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