As August tumbles headlong into this fall semester, most of my thoughts can be summarized as "These changes are so exciting! I'm thrilled for all this semester will bring!" or, "I'm not ready, I'm not ready, where has the time gone?" (Regarding the latter, it probably doesn't help that the playlist at the grocery store where I work features Macklemore and Kesha's "Good Old Days" on heavy rotation.)

Thinking about time has led me to re-read some of my old writing. Of course, as any writer knows, that is by no means a quantitatively pleasant experience, but in doing so, I did stumble upon a piece from January of 2017 that I feel is worth sharing. Simply put, it is a collection of what really matters.

A Medley of Things that Matter:

Snowy feline footprints. Swapping riddles. Old bookstores, and flipping through dozens of musty paperbacks, triggering your allergies. Pale yellow Christmas lights. Typewriters' unshakable association with "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type." Glancing after saying something funny to make sure the person you're talking to is smiling. Non-artists making art nonetheless. Good chapstick. Purses that hold at least two books. Canvas sneakers. Lilacs and sunflowers, and the kleptomaniac urge that comes driving past a field of the latter. Unconsciously leaning against the people you're sitting next to. Chromatic scales. Funky sunglasses. Reading every day. Making flower crowns with little girls. Taking pictures, even blurry ones. The friendliest librarian. Givers, especially the hard-shelled ones. Dark, dark chocolate. Singing in the car. Electrons. Making plans, and the bravery to break them. The susurrus of a stream. Eyebrows. Reading poetry for fun. Decorating Christmas trees and pricking your fingers on the needles. The one shattered vase or teacup that's been glued back together. Worn spines on books. Whispering in art galleries. Telling the truth, telling it well. Sitting in the middle and not minding being crowded. Red-nosed autumn walks. The old ladies who make you lemonade and cookies, and you never quite know how to thank them. Favorite jackets. Collections of feathers or rocks or leaves or keys or shed cicada skins. Midnight trips to fast food restaurants you'd never consider in the daylight. Fat, slow-falling snowflakes. Tracing the path of a raindrop on your car window. Washing your face after a long trip. Kiwis, all kinds. Cats turning around and around in your lap. The juice that sprays in the air when peeling an orange. Digesting novels by nightlight. Snow foxes, high-stepping in the arctic tundra. Pedaling so fast your bike's wheels can't keep up. Climbing the cemetery fence to get to a secret lake. Playground swings. Wanting to be an archer after watching Disney's "Robin Hood." Hiding behind trees and shooting cars with Nerf guns. Lightsaber fights. Naming your hamster after Despereaux's older brother. Passionate hosts on alternative radio stations. Drying flowers between textbook pages. "Little House on the Prairie" reruns. Obstinately holding onto old birthday and Christmas cards. Illustrations. Gel pens. Shark tooth necklaces. Waking up early to collect turkey-wing shells on the shore. Sherlock Holmes and Ancient Egypt and Amelia Earhart. The way people move their hands when telling a story.