Every now and then I feel like a computer that must push the restart button. Maybe I’ve been rushing about or I am worrying about the state of the world or state of my family or maybe I didn’t sleep well the night before. Maybe Mercury is in retrograde…I don’t even know what that means, but it’s often given as a reason or why things are going haywire.
And we think—what??? Again? I just read that book on mindfulness and I was feeling so mindful yesterday, but life isn’t like that. Stuff happens. Big stuff, small stuff. Hormones happen. World events happen. Loved ones die and kids grow up.
So how do we stay sane? Or, at peace? Or, maybe even a bit joyful?
Maybe that means starting the day by reading your favorite poet and taking pleasure in words, in feeling a connection with that twelfth century poet. Maybe that means talking to a good friend, sharing your heart, feeling heard. Maybe it is a quiet solitary nature walk.
It is all there, waiting for us to take delight in.
I’ve started reading Ross Gay’s Book of Delights, which is a collection of short essays all exploring the value of delighting in ordinary things. I read it as part of my morning meditation practice. He reminds me to open my eyes, notice what is right in front of me. Gay writes, It didn’t take me long to learn that the discipline or practice 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 the more you study delight, the more delight there is to study.
Today I took a walk in Forest Park. By a pond. There was an Amish family having a picnic. And fishermen fishing. And a young mother holding her new baby. Cyclists and joggers. And so many friendly people who said hello and smiled.
And I smiled too.