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Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

July 26th, 2015

“I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.”

Shauna Niequiest in Cold Tangerines

meals with friends 4
I was working in the garden yesterday and thinking about this quote and about this idea. An acquaintance passed away yesterday after a long illness. She was young, not much older than I am. She leaves behind her husband, it’s sad, very sad.
mclaughlin garden illuminated 11
Death is never easy, yet it will come to all of us. We know it will come, we just hope it will be when we’re old and when we think we’ve lived enough of our life. None of us has the guarantee of growing old, another day, or even another minute. Life is fleeting, even if we live to be 100.
And yet somehow we still find ourselves going through our days without noticing the things that actually make up our lives. So often we are waiting for perfection to start living and enjoying. We are waiting for that big moment, for that trip, to reach a certain place.
office art 2
Our lives are lived in every moment, and often these are the moments that are most important. We live our lives in our offices, in our kitchens, in our gardens, on our sofas. All of these seconds add up to our lives. When we look back at those moments with loved ones who are gone, they often revolve around these moments and not the big events.
sunlight in living room 2
I have fond memories of shelling peas with my family and making up songs while we worked (I can still remember the songs). There are memories around the dinner table, of playing cards, conversations in the car on a drive, an evening walk; these are the little moments that are the glittering diamonds in our memories. Enjoy these moments. Savor each day, each task, each flower, each person, each interaction. Life is fleeting, don’t waste it waiting for something big!

6 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist”
  1. tj on July 26, 2015 at 6:05 am

    …I am so sorry to hear of your loss Susy. It is hard when we lose someone, especially someone young, it all seems so unfair. Life comes with no guarantees and I for one, am guilty of taking it for granted at times. Oh I catch myself, tell myself to slow down, to savor this moment, whether I’m pulling weeds, washing dishes, folding laundry, eating, it’s those moments that make us.

    …Thank you for writing this. For the reminder Susy.

    …Peace & blessings to you.

    Reply to tj's comment

  2. Jaye Whitney on July 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

    So sorry for your loss Susy.

    Thank you for the reminder that we should always strive to live in the present.

    Reply to Jaye Whitney's comment

  3. Wendy on July 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for these thoughts today. My condolences on your loss.

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  4. Louise on July 26, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Susy, I so am sorry to hear of your loss; my condolences to you and Mr. Chiot’s. Am in mourning myself for a very young life that was lost, not a human life, but a pet. To some this might not hold the same value of loss, however, it is still loss and can be just as painful as the loss of a human life.

    One of the most difficult issues with loss, for me, is the feeling of not having any control over it. As you mentioned, life is fleeting and is very fragile indeed. We just do not like to think about such issues in our daily life.

    The thing that comforts me greatly in my grief is to remember all the wonderful times spend with the loved one; it brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. It is indeed the small things that make the important moments and bring most joy in life.

    Reply to Louise's comment

  5. Kirsten on July 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I’m really sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post and wonderful reminder. I was discussing this concept the other day with my brother- how people (ourselves included) have a habit of thinking “I’ll be happy when…” Waiting to feel alive and enjoy life, it’s not how I want to spend my days.

    Reply to Kirsten's comment

  6. PennyAshevilleNC on July 27, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Thank you for this post, and I offer my condolences. Your perspective is a valuable reminder.

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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