I mentioned "High Low" at dinner the other night. What, you say, is this thing that are we doing?
It's a tradition Nancy and Scooter have with their kids - every night at dinner, everyone takes turns telling their high and low points of the day. No one is allowed to talk during other people's high/lows.
On vacation it turns out to be quite a trick to get a large number of loud people to stop talking, asking for food, telling jokes, shouting with glee (18 month old) etc. And there are relatively few big lows...on vacation. But it's a great group time.
I have always loved this thing that they do...then I read the Linns' book:
It turns out that this is not only a really great family activity that my sister found in Woman's Day or somewhere; it's a form of the traditional Ignatian examen. The book phrases it many different ways, but the primary suggestion is asking as a family or individually each evening, "For what in my day today am I most grateful? Least grateful?" Then you "slow down and listen to that which your spirit has already taken notice of."
Here by the ocean, we have low tides twice a day...at this point, our lowest tide is in the evening. The children run wild across the exposed sandbars, peering at hermit crabs and tiny angel fish, sea squirts and conch egg sacs and scallops.
I walked along aimlessly last night, veering from bar to tidal pool and back, as items caught my eye and fancy. I came across three hermit crabs fighting...it seemed over a larger, empty shell. Perhaps that was my imagination.
Next to them I noticed a cat's eye shell with a sea snail inside. it was not as brightly colored as this one but looked much the same otherwise:
It, too, was moving slowly and in a way that to me seemed aimless. I watched for a long time as it wandered about the pool. Where was it headed?
Watching it made me wonder what my big worries and stresses are really about...and gave me the time to ponder that which my spirit had already taken notice of.
This, I hope to take home with me.