“Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don’t collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don’t really mean anything.” ~ Norman Lear
I’ve been feeling very discombobulated lately. I’m tired all the time. When I try to think of what I want to accomplish during the day, the list I hold in my head fragments and I can’t make a decision about which is the most important. I didn’t want to admit that after all these months, I’m wallowing. I don’t want to teach any more. I want to concentrate on my writing and podcasts because when I’m teaching that takes up most of my time. I was complaining to almost anyone who would listen about having to go to the campus to teach online from an empty room. Why couldn’t I teach from my home office? It’s what I did last spring. I had to admit I was in a rut.
Finally, one day in meditation I heard this clear message. Slow down. Rest and reflect. So, I did. Yesterday I was re-reading the sixth book in The Circle of Ceridwen, series, Silver Hammer, Golden Cross in preparation for the seventh book launch of Windswept this past week. These are historical fiction books by Octavia Randolph about the Danish invasion and subsequent settling of Northern England in the 9th century. The segment I was reading was about two of my favorite characters. They were participating in a Summer Solstice celebration and something about the joy the characters were taking in the simple pleasure of being together as a community made me cry. And I knew that for the last few months, I have rarely focused on the simple pleasures of life. Since gratitude is one of the most important spiritual tenants, I thought I’d share with you some of the simple things that bring me joy. These are in no particular order.
Many people enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea. I’m not one of them. I get my caffeine fix from a large cup of hot chocolate. I make the mix myself with baking cocoa and Cadbury Drinking Chocolate. I add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and some almond milk, blend it then savor every sip. The day is always a little bit better after my cup of chocolate.
As you may know, we live in the country. One of my great joys is watching the wildlife in our yard. I gain the most pleasure from watching the large quail family come out to drink and eat the birdseed we put out every day. There is something so comforting about the coos and calls they make to each other. In fact, I won a screen print, the photo at the top of this post, of quail at last year’s Cochise Writer’s Celebration. I’m sorry the artist didn’t sign it because I’d like to give him or her credit. In any case, I love having it in my office.
Another joy is watching the woodpecker hang onto the bird feeder, gather seeds in it’s beak and then transfer them to a branch on the same tree and store those seeds in the hole s/he has made there. Other special moments are visits from the deer, javelina, and even coyotes and bobcats that occasionally stroll through. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the roadrunners. They are fun to watch too.
This time of year, I’m comforted by the moon rises on my drive home from teaching. Last week the appearance of Mars just above the horizon as I got home was a rare treat. I understand it won’t be this close to Earth again until many years in the future.
Living in Southern Arizona, where we don’t have much light pollution, is a true gift. We get a clear vision of the stars and most of the celestial phenomenon throughout the year. The only time we’re hindered is during Monsoon when the skies are often shrouded by clouds. But after living the Portland, Oregon where we rarely got to see the stars at night, I’m grateful to be able to see them most of the year round.
Covid-19 has brought another blessing. Barry has been working from home since the middle of March. Our offices are right next to each other and I love hearing him talk to himself as he’s working on projects. We get to share lunch together, and step into each other’s offices for a quick kiss. He also has great taste in music which I sometimes hear wafting my way. I think the thing I’ve appreciated the most about Barry being home is that we get to practice what life will be like when we both retire from working at jobs outside the home and get to create our own projects.
I’m extremely grateful for the leisurely time in the mornings to meditate, write in my journal, and stretch. I’ve never been comfortable rising early so taking time to ease into the day is a wonderful blessing.
Conversely, I love reading in bed before I go to sleep. It’s a routine I’ve maintained for many years and if I don’t read, I don’t go to sleep easily.
Finally, I’m so grateful I had the courage to start my podcast, Story~Power. I love everything about the process from recording the conversations with my wonderful guests, to editing, to uploading for publication. It’s been a blessing already and I’m looking forward to preparing the posts for 2021.
There are so many things to be grateful for, so many little things to take pleasure in every day. What are the things you’re grateful for? What things bring you joy? I’d love to hear from you.
Blessings to all of you. I hope you are safe and happy.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
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