Get yourself a Kat.
She was a woman that made every task beautiful. And did it with grace; a difficult word to use as intended in our culture of immediacy, of get it done, but perfectly suited to her.
And I watched. The way she moved. The way she interacted with her tasks. The way she not only saw what was in front of her but intuitively knew how to enhance even the most pedestrian.
I watched her pick up the sunflowers gently and arrange them into two groups. Then for each group adjust the heights of the stems and turn each flower around so when you held them, no one was hidden. I watched her secure each group with a white paper towel that she held in water before wrapping the bottom of the stems and securing it at the perfect third with a rubberband. When she was finished, I was in awe that the sunflowers looked as though they were just placed on the counter by a florist.
Now, before you dismiss this as ‘of course flowers are beautiful’, I saw her do the same while cutting a lime to add to my drink. I saw her do it with a paper napkin. I saw her do while putting food into Tupperware.
And what I first believed to be a beautiful woman simply making things beautiful, it suddenly occurred to me that she was a beautiful human, living in her moments. She seemed so light to me; so in love with her senses. But not in a crass, demonstrative way. More like a personal commitment to herself. Almost accountable in making every gesture, moment, action worth the time spent doing it. Like each moment is worthy of living full out. Every glance and smell and texture has meaning.
Watching her, it dawned on me how much I move from task to task to get to the next task. And of course, there are things I love to do and relish in. But what about the things I do because they just have to get done? Like dishes. Do I have that mindfulness? That joy? The truth is, I do to an extent in yoga and I do when I’m hand-writing. I love the feel of my fountain pen and how the ink deposits on the page. I do when I’m face-to-face, learning about people. But I’ve never found joy in cutting the ends off of stems. I swear I would’ve picked those flowers up and just tossed them in a gallon ziplock bag.
So when I made it home this morning, all I wanted was a shower and my own bed. But I thought of Kat. Instead I unpacked, deliberately, making the most of feeling the fabric in my hands, really looking at jewelry, taking the time to wipe each piece before I put it away. All while feeling the wash of pride to have worked so hard to buy something nice when it wasn’t so long ago, I could only wish.
And while I didn’t over extend any of those unpacking tasks, I intentionally did not rush to get done. Why was I always rushing to the next thing anyway? Watching Kat, I saw that quite possibly, living, truly being alive, isn’t going from one thing to the next thing. Living is in the spaces between and making those beautiful for yourself.
And if needed, find a Kat to teach you.