Writing Wednesday: A List of the Loveliest Things

Norway Creek and Mist

Remember the song My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music? All right, so like the movie, that song was terribly saccharine and Pollyanna-ish. But still I loved the song when I was a kid and its lyrics have stuck with me ever since. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens/bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens/brown paper packages tied up with strings/these are a few of my favourite things.

Who doesn’t like gleaming bright copper kettles and brown paper packages tied up with string? And, come on, when you think about little whiskers on sweet, fluffy, velvety kittens, you gotta smile.

Ive brought this up because I was rereading a passage the other day from Mistress Pat, the sequel to Pat of Silver Bush, by none other than L.M. Montgomery, the author of Green Gables (yup, I never get tired of re-reading her books – classics!) where the protagonist, Pat Gardiner, meets her new neighbours, Suzanne and David Kirk. At first hostile to the Kirks, whom she regards as interlopers to the house where her childhood best friend had lived and died, she eventually warms to them and the three sit around an applewood fire and talked of ‘cabbages and kings’, eventually deciding to each make a list of the loveliest things in the world:

“Let’s each give a list of loveliest things,” said Suzanne. “The things that please us most, just as they come into our heads, no matter what they are. I love the strange deep shadows that come just before sunset . . . June bugs thudding against the windows . . . a bite of home-made bread . . . a hot water bottle on a cold winter night . . . wet mossy stones in a brook . . . the song of wind in the top of an old pine. Now, Pat?”

“The way a cat folds its paws under its breast . . . blue smoke rising in the air on a frosty winter morning. . . the way my little niece Mary laughs, crinkling up her eyes . . . old fields dreaming in moonlight . . . the scrunch of dry leaves under your feet in the silver bush in November . . . a baby’s toes . . . the smell of clean clothes as you take them off the line.”

“David?”

“The cold of ice,” said David slowly. “Alphonso’s eyes . . . the smell of rain after burning drought . . . water at night . . . a leaping flame . . . the strange dark whiteness of a winter night . . . brook-brown eyes in a girl.”

So for fun, I thought I’d make my own list of some of the things I find lovely… in short, a list of ‘my favourite things’… and encourage all you readers and writers out there to do the same as well.

***

My list would include:

The feel of sun-warmed, wind-fresh laundry that has been hanging in the line… (similar to one of Pat’s entries, I know, but I had to include this because I was taking in the laundry and thinking of that same passage the other day which was what inspired this post)

The crisp smell of a brand new book…

But also the crinkly, delicate feel of thin pages in a cherished old book…

Cold white mist amid a dark green mountain forest…and the clear little brooks that run through such a forest as well…

The feeling of inner power and strength that infuses your body and mind after a particularly challenging workout…

And for that matter, the feeling of satisfaction after a difficult job done well…

The sweet, juicy flavours of a ripe mango on a hot summer’s day…

A giant witchy amber-gold full moon hanging low in the evening sky…

The rose blush hues, lavender touches and golden tinges of a sunset over the river…

The cold white fire of stars burning bright from a chapter out of the past in the night sky.

Now what about you? What are some of the loveliest things that bring you pleasure in this world?

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