Friday, 14 June 2013

A Perfect Day

Katie has given me another card; there is one every Wednesday and one every Sunday. Some cards are easy; some are hard. Some I can respond to quickly; others take time, lots of time, to contemplate and consider before fingers hit keys and pulse out some kind of coherent response. It's hard to tell which ones will make me think a lot; this one did. She asked me to describe a "perfect day".

I can't. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect day. I think all days have their moments of perfection, snatches of time and space where peace and contentment are solid and real, bits of perfection scattered like diamonds amidst the daily muck of life, flashes of grace and love, jewels in hand. Those are the perfect about which I can write.

My life has been blessed with a great many of these moments, most of them with my family, time with my children and wife, time with my Mom or Dad, time with those I love. These have been the moments of perfection that make a day stand out, that make all of a day seem perfect, perhaps even a whole life. These moments, these small bits of days, are so powerful that they mask over the detritus of the mundane and give lustre to life.

I remember so many things, watching the kids climb the banks up and down Cavendish Beach on PEI, letting them pick out souvenirs from a street vendor in Battery Park, buying them giant chocolate chip cookies at Cow Chip Cookies in Seattle, days on the boat and in the car or at the park or fishing by Rolley Lake; all this and more. There is so much perfection for me to remember that the movie theatre in my mind forever plays, and each moment is precious. When I lay down for my final rest, these are what will be with me, these moments of perfection.

If I have to pick one, then I pick a cold, dreary day in May, a day when the rain on the BC coast was so light as to be just past a fog and so dense as to reach through my weather gear and soak me to the skin. This day we were on our boat making our way south down Trincomali Channel with the high cliffs of Valdes Island to the east and the low, tree studded rocks of the De Courcy Islands to the west. It was mid-morning and we were clear of Gabriola Passage, headed for Clam Bay, intending to take The Cut between Thetis and Kuper Islands to spend the night at Thetis Island Marina in Telegraph Harbour.

I was on deck, tiller in hand, hunched over, shielding myself from the misty moistness of the morning. The kids were below, laughing and talking and being the energy that is young teen-hood. I had the deck, they had the cabin. The hatch was closed to keep the rain out. I slid it forward an inch and asked for a cup of tea. A cheerful voice said yes and a hidden hand closed the hatch once more against the mist. A few minutes later this disembodied hand reaches up from the bowels of below-deck, steaming cup held gingerly, forced upward, voiceless, rising from the depths. I'm still unsure whose hand it was and it doesn't really matter. Each of them is precious, a gift to me. I took the tea and the hidden hand once again closed the hatch against the dripping sky.

In all of this I was most content. The perfection of this time and place, this was my perfect day. It was all I could ask for, all I could want, and all there is for me. If I had another day, it would not be for me. It would be for the hidden hands below-deck, the laughter of young voices, the faith of children.


  1. I think what people need to remember is that happiness is not having large events that make them happy but having many small events that make them happy. The goal is to increase the number of small events that make you happy and if you get a couple of big ones in there - way to go!