In which I adore my city and its inhabitants

Today was a lovliest of Sundays. I think I fell in love with Provo and the people who it is made of all over again. It is not long since the last time I was enamored with this place, in fact, it's probably something that happens a little everyday, but today I found it especially endearing. I've found that Provo is also a place that is easy to criticize, and I sometimes do, but I want to remind myself how lucky we are to be here, and how often, such beautiful things come from imperfect places, precisely because they are imperfect.
This morning Carl and I walked to church, it was icy and cold, but I felt happy to be going to a place where meaningful things happen. The walk is less than three blocks, but I imagined what it would be like if I had to really sacrifice to be there, and I concluded that I would probably love the end product just as much. We taught our primary class which consists of six eleven-year olds, and although the question about how Adam and Eve were not harmed by the dinosaurs was somehow brought up several times, I felt peace as we sat on the floor with our class and talked about God and His plan for us with the self-laminated materials that I had used on my mission.
After church I bundled myself in my christmas coat that my dear sister-in-law gave me and jumped into bed. There is nothing better than a Sunday nap, especially when you are dreaming of dyeing wool and turning it into yarn, which I was. While I was sleeping, Carl was out cruising on his new bicycle and taking pictures of ducks by the pond. When I woke up, our friend Tom knocked on our door. The three of us talked about gardens and books and we had a nice mid-afternoon meal. I love eating with friends. I always tell Carl that I just want to make enough money in life to be able to have a room or porch where we can invite people over for home-cooked meals. We went over to my family's house after Tom left and found my dad cooking, or renovating a stew with several secret spices that he held his thumb over the label and refused to disclose. Zippy, as always was being absolutely ridiculous (zippy is our pug dog) and Sage kept trying to pick her up and hold her like a baby. She was shedding fur all over, so we vacuumed her with a vacuum hose and she loved it. We played catchphrase in our circle of five and my dad and sisters reassured me that I would be a good teacher.
When we got home our friends Chris, Davey and Tyler came over and we talked about gardening again, and we talked about the possibilities in Provo. I often have the internal debate about whether I should stay in Provo, or move on and look elsewhere. On the one hand, I want to go out and see new places and be a part of other communities, but on the other hand, I want to belong to a place. I want to be part of a place that I care about, and Provo is certainly a place that has taken care of me and taught me many things for nearly 20 years. When those boys left, we got one more knock on our door. It was Leland. He took us over to his new letterpress studio downtown and the more we talked about possibilities (how I miss Gallery 110 days) I got so excited about the things that could happen here that my stomach was full of butterflies.
I realize that I just gave a rundown of a fairly normal Sunday, but I like to be reminded that beauty and meaning exists in simplicity and deliberateness, in fact, it exists because of those things.


sara said...

I drove past Gallery 110 yesterday and was flooded with emotions of happiness & nostalgia & excitement. I'm glad you had a great Provo Sunday. That is a reason why I love ye old Provo.

Churchill Gardens said...

You certainly are loved in Provo! And here too! Just as much. I miss you AshleyMae, and think that you and Carl are changing the world by doing what you do in your hometown of Provo. I would love to help out with the sustainable food systems/ urban gardening as I have learned in the past two years all about doing this sort of thing, but I am sure there are friends in Provo who are eager to help. Just hearing about your thoughts gets me excited for our raised garden beds this spring, it is the start of our reach towards the back to the land movement.

I wish you the best of luck in teaching english, fulfilling your work in your MFA and living a full and gracious life. You have so much love and people really love you back, it is the universe law. This post is so lovely.

Joseph said...

This post is so lovely. Provo is so lovely. You and Carl are so lovely.