Our days seem to go by faster and faster. We always have something going on. But yesterday I was reminded of several simple pleasures that I'd forgotten about or perhaps taken for granted. I like simple, unhurried, go with the flow kind of days, where one thing flows into the next with ease. And yesterday was that kind of day.
We went to the market and took our time perusing veggies and fruits and meat and cheese and coffee and flowers and embroidered tapestries and more. I took in the colors and sounds and smells. I bought onions and carrots and lettuce and squash and strawberries and corn and leeks and eggs and more. I picked out a vibrant bouquet that the Hmong farmers so elegantly arrange and display.
We came home and I spent the next 4 hours busily working in the kitchen, making jam and pickling strawberries….yes, strawberries, cutting up melons and cucumbers and making my favorite summer dish of slow roasted tomatoes with onion and basil over pasta and arranging the flowers I bought at the market.
Now, years ago, I used to get a flower bunch at the market every weekend and arrange the flowers in to multiple bouquets in vases and bottles and cups throughout our house, giving us beautiful flowers all week. Alas, it's been a long while since I did that, but I don't know why.
These brightly hued flowers give me such joy. The bouquet costs $5, and I made 6 arrangements from that bunch of flowers.
As I separated the flowers to begin creating these arrangements, I realized how much I'd missed doing this. And when I finished the 6 different arrangements and placed them throughout my home, I made a mental note to do this every week until the end of the season. After all, $5 is not so much for a simple pleasure that lasts all week long.
Then, a friend texted me saying she needed to get out and walk and talk and would I join her. I had just been thinking how much I'd missed walking at my favorite lake this summer…of course I'd join her. We walked, we talked, the sun sank low, the clouds were backlit with neon pink, the sun slipped beneath the horizon, downtown lit up with blue and pink and white and green lights, all the while we walked and we talked and talked.
Have you ever noticed the most important talking takes places after the walk or after the movie or after the meal, in the car, outside one friend's house? Well, it's true…think about it.
Again, I realized how much I'd been missing this walking and talking. It's the simple things that help us stay focused and feel less stress and more connected to the people and places around us.
And then, I sat reading Lord of the Rings to my son; something we've been doing together for a while. Occasionally, I'd stop and we'd discuss a particular point or word or character or location created by Tolkien. Eventually, he fell asleep, but when I tried to retrieve his glasses he woke up and insisted he hadn't been sleeping, merely resting his eyes, and begged me to keep reading a bit more. I did…until I was certain he was indeed asleep.
This is our thing. My husband reads other books to them. My younger son has usually already fallen asleep by the time I start reading Tolkien. So, this is something that is ours, my 9 year-old and I.
I love to read to my kids. I've been doing it since they were born, but often work or other household tasks get in my way, and then my husband reads to them. It's been a while since we'd picked up Lord of the Rings, and I had missed those sacred times, which made me appreciate it all the more.
It's the simple things that enrich our lives. It's the simple things that can make or break a day. It's the simple things that sustain us. It's up to us to take note of them, to immerse ourselves in these tiny pleasures and be thankful for these moments in our otherwise busy lives. Over and out…