What would be the perfect day?
I'll sometimes dream, thinking of a day past or future: a place in the mountains, a cup of coffee that never cools, a view of the Mediterranean . . . a quiet, warm green place with enough books and lovely thoughts and a few friends, witty and wise . . . an endless meal with conversation pouring like wine, old and complex. Here we linger, for days, in wonder and reverence; a certain sorrow that swirls in the wine but tastes like hope on the lips. Our sentences drift away at the end. We speak to each other both with words and with silence and with that light in the eyes, the deepest kind of laughter.
I am dreaming of Heaven, perhaps. My reverie never lasts long.
There are diapers to change, disasters to avoid. Voices and tears and touch, constant touch. Keeping me rooted firmly to the earth, all day long, are these personalities and needs; daily needs, daily meals to prepare, the smallest lessons to teach. My work is daily and small and eternal. I kiss the cheeks of immortal beings.
And though I may wish for those places of solitude, or the perfect day that is perfectly balanced with all of the things that feel like Heaven, I am pulled back to earth, back to this day and this practical, earthly work.
And it is Heaven enough for me.
O saints, if I am even eligible for this prayer,
though less than worthy of this dear desire,
and if your prayers have influence in Heaven,
let my place there be lower than your own.
I know how you have longed, here where you lived
as exiles, for the presence of the essential
Being and Maker and Knower of all things.
But because of my unruliness, or some erring
virtue in me never rightly schooled,
some error clear and dear, my life
has not taught me your desire for flight:
dismattered, pure, and free. I long
instead for the Heaven of creatures, of seasons,
of day and night. Heaven enough for me
would be this world as I know it, but redeemed
of our abuse of it and one another.
(you can read the rest of the poem here).
Wendell Berry, Leavings