My massage therapist advises me to notice. To notice the way that my body moves, the way I hold myself. To notice where I ache, and make no judgment.
“How is your body feeling?” she asks.
It’s a lovely question. It’s a question filled with notice. Notice how your right arm stretches up up up as though you were still a child flush with joy. Notice how your heart thrums and your breath rasps through you as you climb. Notice the way you slouch into your right side as your left hand takes over. Notice your jaw.
Notice your life. The walls and their artwork. The red of the bathtub and how your wife got that exactly right. The stretch of the little dog against you. How she opens and closes her mouth as though miming urgency. Quick! The front door! Outside! Quick! The food bowl! Dinner! Notice the old dingo. How, at nearly fourteen, she still sprints for you. Delight! Her body says. How she leaps each time as though she were not more likely now to crash. But you never know. You might as well leap as though you’ll make it every time. As though you don’t know how it’ll end.
Notice your child. The way he rests against you with the kind of love there is no word for. A love so particular to him that when you think of it, the descriptor you use is his name.
Notice your wife. How she holds the hedgehog cupped in her hands as though he were gold. How she touches you as she moves around you in a room. I am base, you think. She is home. Safe.
Notice your life. The way the dust dirties your feet as you walk through the neighborhood. The way the trees stretch and curl as though they want both — the sky and the earth. Notice your hands. The ache in the thumb. The pop at the wrist. The thin, delicate scars. What a gift you have, growing older. What gifts. Notice. Notice. Notice.