This morning I read two blog posts that made me smile. At A Cup of Jo Caroline Donofrio shares the “tiny anchors” in her life that make her happy. She says,
Every night, as I’m getting ready for bed, I say the same thing…
“I can’t wait to have my coffee in the morning!”
Or she is cheered by the sight of a cardinal in her back yard. The little things she notices light up her day.
Then I went over to Advice from a 20 Something. Megan Lierley has a new article, How to Make New Friends during COVID. I feel like I’ve made a new friend, just reading the article. (I think she writes Advice from a 30 Something too!) I like her encouragement to ignore convention and just reach out.
In these times I grab onto anything that adds a bit of sunshine to my day. The other day I paused as I noticed a pleasant fragrance, like perfume, in one area of the house. I had no idea where it came from. I kept returning to that spot and inhaling deeply. There was nothing in the house to which I could trace the scent. I eventually figured out it was coming in from the hallway. The hallway air blows under our door, into our suite. I pictured a woman walking down the hall to the elevator, dressed for the day, wearing her favorite perfume.
I’ve begun to frequent a local Garden Centre that I call my new “happy place.” When I arrive I always walk through the fountain area first to listen to the trickling and gurgling and splashing of the water. My favorite fountain was sold last week and it gave me pleasure to think someone loved the same favorite I enjoyed.
I’ve noted that more than anything I love to capture images. Maybe one in a thousand will turn out to be something truly special and it’s the pursuit I enjoy.
I was texting with my sister as I walked through Michael’s this week and took a couple of photos to share with her. It almost felt like she was with me.
One day this week I asked my husband to drop me off at a park on his way to work. As I took photos of the trees and flowers and the landscaping I shared them with two other sisters who have visited the park with me. My three sisters live in another province. They were there, virtually, enjoying the view with me. After an hour I leisurely walked home. It was a long walk and instead of thinking about getting a cardio workout, I just immersed myself in the experience.
I find that if I keep my eyes open I experience all kinds of delight in each day. Sometimes, like yesterday, I allow myself to play and imagine doing fun things with my grandkids when I get back together with them. They only live an hour away, but there is a pesky international border between us.
I bought some tiny shells at the Dollar Store. They were so beautiful and I will put them in small jars with sand I picked up at Long Beach last summer. It’s fun to be a kid and play with shells. I took the shells and a tin with me and sorted them on the drive to the nursery, hoping to find clam shell pairs. Of course I didn’t find any, but it was fun. Why keep all the activity at home?
I wish I had pictures to show for the special afternoon we enjoyed last weekend. My husband and I packed up my guitar and his banjo and ukulele and headed for the park, where, incidentally, we sang Pearly Shells as we sat under the shade of some tall cedars. My husband was very self-conscious and I just laughed and thought that if I heard someone in a park, making music for an hour, I would think it was lovely that I happened to be there just then. He was afraid we would be a nuisance.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, we’ve started working on bonsai plants on our balcony and as a result I now know the difference between a pine, a juniper, and a spruce tree. Learning to identify different conifers was actually a goal I set for myself this year.
Our world is brimming with beauty and possibility. The discoveries are endless and each day can bring us new delight if we keep our eyes and ears open. I have become especially attentive to scents and to noticing the feel of a breeze on my skin.
As a writer, I am a bit obsessive about recording experiences. I am the same with photography. I take pictures so that I have a memory. However there is no way to record a scent, it occurred to me. This is truly only an in the moment experience.