When Hazel and Oona, who are 5 and 3, asked what the new brass bell hanging outside our back door was about, I explained that it was a temple bell we had brought back from India, and that we had hung it right outside our back door near the steps up to their flat so that they could reach it to ring it, too. I explained that in India these bells hang outside the temples and everyone rings them to .... "sort of say hello to God", I improvised. And then I rang the bell a couple times and said "Hi, God!" and we all giggled.
I was relieved that they didn't ask what God was, though this came up once before when they were examining my altar and Hazel informed me, with the primness that only a 5 year old girl can muster, that God was the universe.
This morning I was out on the back steps chatting with Oona, who was hanging off the staircase chewing her hair with a little splotch of egg yolk on her cheek, and with Hazel, who had denim hearts on the knees of her denim jeans, and with Jen. This was especially sweet because I had awakened from a dream in which James and I had discovered the Most Perfect House Ever and had decided we could afford it and in the dreamy way we were sort of wooing the house. But when I woke I thought that no, really, living here in a house I share with my friends like I do really could not be any better. That life was perfect just like this.
On the back steps in the waking world Jennifer said "Oh! I almost texted you yesterday! Oona said to me yesterday, 'I'm going to go outside and say hi to God.'"
And she did.
Yes, this is perfect. Just like this.