To distract ourselves during Covid, my walking partner and I challenged each other to pay attention to the simple pleasures in our lives. We noted how satisfying it is to slice into a perfectly ripe avocado or to slip between freshly laundered sheets on a well-made bed. It’s these little things that can get us through difficult times.
In his book titled The Book of Delights poet Ross Gay challenged himself to write one short essay per day on something he’d observed that delighted him. In the intro he says, “It didn’t take me long to learn that the discipline of writing these essays occasioned a kind of delight radar. Or maybe it was more like the development of a delight muscle. Something that implies that the more you study delight, the more delight there is to study. A month or two into this project delights were calling to me: Write about me! Write about me! I also learned this year that my delight grows – much like love and joy – when I share it.”
In other words, ‘what you focus on grows.’
So that’s what I’m going to do ~ share my simple pleasures (and delights!) and hope that more and more of them call to me.
In no particular order, here are a few:
- Nuzzling a kitten to my face and breathing it in.
- Hearing the laughter of children playing outside on summer evenings.
- Puppies. The full-body wiggle when they’re greeting you.
- Being notified by the library that a long awaited book has finally arrived.
- Cracking open a new book and sinking in for the evening.
- Hanging laundry out to dry on a breezy spring day.
- Chatting with cheery strangers when we’re both out walking.
- Discovering a gem of a book at a Little Free Library, or leaving a treasured book there and finding it gone the next time I’m checking out the selection.
- Seeing items get repurposed.
- Participating in discussions that dive deep.
- Discovering new products that tread lightly on the planet, or that eliminate plastic waste.
- Long, ambling beach walks.
- Breathing in the earthy smell of forest trails.
- Viewing wildlife photography – especially of bears and apes.
- Watching the assertive little hummingbirds that fight for space at the bird feeder.
What are your simple pleasures?