Beve and I are sitting in our cozy living room, where I'm curled up beneath the spectacular afghan his mother knit for us many years ago. I look at the intricate stitches and am awed by the talent of her needles. We're watching 'The Bucket List,' which we've apparently seen before, but I don't remember much of. Anyway, though I wrote a list of post ideas this morning (priming the pump of my creative juices, so to speak--and I'm telling you, they're good ones!), this movie is making me consider what would be on my own bucket list, what places, things, adventures I'd want to experience while still alive in the body. It's not an easy list to make, but not for the reason you might think. It's not that I hesitate to think of my own demise, though it is also possible that were it a reality rather than a hypothetica, I would scurry away from the thoughts. But most of the time I am so content in my life I can't imagine exchanging the way I live for something or somewhere else. This might sound too otherworldly of me, but most of my dreams have to do with what I'll see on the other side of eternity, not on this side. I'm looking forward to giving up my body someday, to being clothed in the imperishable.
However, I do have a list--for whatever it's worth:
Touch an elephant's hide in Africa
Walk again the streets teeming with life in Delhi
Cry tears of joy at my children's weddings
Hold my own grandchild
Finish my book (this one's for those of you who are expecting me to say this!...and it might be true, but it also might be that if I really needed a bucket list, I would throw in the towel on this book, realizing it really doesn't matter!)
Stand on the steps where Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate
Meet our sponsored child, Pardon, in Zimbabwe
Walk in the sand of the gold coast of Australia
See an opera
Stay on a Greek Isle
Learn to quilt (Beve did buy me a new sewing machine, so maybe this should simply be a goal)
At the moment in the movie, Nickolson and Freeman are standing in front of the reflecting pools at the Taj Mahal. We have a picture on our refrigerator of Beve and me standing in just that position, the day after Christmas in 1983. We were newly committed, twitterpated with love, and the day was rose-colored (though that might have had something to do with the smog). It was one of the first of the many great days of our life together, and I'd like to stand there again someday--Beve, gray and arthritic, me chubby and wrinkled, but his arm still around me, and our smiles still warm and true.
I like the idea of a bucket list, certainly better than New Year's resolutions. I really hate those. Usually they're all negative--vows destined to fail. But these dreams, these pipe dreams that won't change a fundamental thing about my life, they are only sweet.
Mostly what I want, of course, is to read the Word until it sticks to my arteries like plaque, to be so instinctive about prayer that His name is the first word on my lips every morning and the last thing in my brain at night. I want to be saturated by the Holy Spirit, my life a fragrant aroma to His throne. This is my ultimate bucket list, and if this is true, then, as Julian of Norwich said, "All shall be most well, and all shall be most well, and all manner of things shall be most well."