A week or so ago, the minutiae of life were getting me down. You know: the two-foot-high pile of mail, mostly junk. The school papers that I didn't quite have the heart to throw away - oops! I mean recycle! - yet. The grocery list I was putting off day after day. Scheduling an eye doctor appointment. Ordering the family photos. Remembering, or not, Kindergarten snack schedules. Dirty towels. All those minutiae.

But for the last several days, I have felt oh-so-satisfied.

//satisfy [sat-is-fahy]

1. to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs, or demands of (a person, the mind, etc.); give full contentment to
2. to put an end to (a desire, want, need, etc.) but sufficient or ample provision

from the Latin (via French satisfier), satis "enough"//

I'm not sure what changed the tide of being overwhelmed by minutiae to a wave of contentment in small and (in the scheme of things) unimportant things. It's not like I sat myself down and gave myself a stern talking to about changing my attitude, or even that I devoted time to peaceful meditation. And truthfully, I didn't even deal with all the minutiae that were getting me down. But here are a few things that, over the last few days, have left me very satisfied:

* I made lunch for the Kindergarten teachers at the boys' school. They have conferences this week, and so are eating all their meals at school. What I made was nothing fancy: lemon-tarragon grilled chicken and an apples and greens salad. But it felt really good to be the person doing something nice for someone else, rather than the grateful recipient of a favor (as I so often am, given my illness).

*I wrote an unexpected poem. Most of my poems have a life before they ever become poems. A few words will come to me, or an intriguing idea, and I'll jot it down on a blue index card and file it away. Then I mull...... and I wait....... for days (rarely), months (often), or even years (sometimes) for the poem to be ready for writing (don't ask me how I know when this is...... I just do). So, I am almost always thinking and planning and waiting to write a poem for quite some time before it gets written; indeed, the poems-to-be begin to feel like old friends, or alternately, like old nags. But on Sunday, I just happened to glance at an image of a painting called "The Dream" by Marc Chagall, and heard the words do we live, or do we only hover? And right away the whole poem tumbled out onto paper.

*We bought a new lamp. I know, it sounds mundane. And it is, really. Just an inexpensive, non-descript lamp from a big box store nearby. But I am warmed - amazed, actually - by how just a lamp on a table can increase the coziness factor of a room, and by extension, can make a house feel more like a home.

*I sat in the sun yesterday afternoon, waiting for the boys to get off the bus. Oh, and it was luxuriant: warm, silver sunlight in November. I felt like I had all I ever needed right there: just a place to sit, and the sun on my face.

*I made several stout little piles of poems and grouped the ones that seemed to go together. I put them in a folder, and wrote on the front These go together. This was an unplanned activity, and it happened on Sunday when my computer was acting up. I had planned to write and revise poems, but without a computer, was at loose ends. Then, my hands and arms took over. There was no thinking involved. My hands and arms starting sorting poems into piles all over my bedroom floor. After ten or fifteen minutes, I did pause to ask myself, What am I doing here? The answer came: You are making stout little piles of poems that go together. Oh, okay, I said, and kept right on going. In the end I had 36 poems that seem to go together (3 of which are maybes, 5 of which are probablys), and placeholders for 8 to 10 more poems that I think I want to write and then group with the rest.

*I completed my to-do list yesterday. Now, I have an uneasy relationship with to-do lists, to the point where I don't usually make them because there's something really bothersome to me about never being able to cross anything off(!). But after forgetting the Kindergarten snack last week, there were a few things I needed to do that I really didn't want to forget. So I wrote them down. And yesterday, I crossed them all off!: "Conference meals (chicken, salad), get cash, poets (pay Tom), e-mail Mr. T." (Come to think of it, beyond being satisfying this also feels like a minor miracle).

I have truly enjoyed this feeling of full contentment in minor things, this feeling of being filled, of being amply provided for. This feeling that the smallest things in life -- a lamp, a poem, some sunshine, a few mundane tasks, crossed off a list -- are, indeed, enough.

May all your small things be enough for you today. May you be satisfied.

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