Simple Pleasures

Who among us does not regularly use the excuse of being busy as the reason we have not properly kept up with our friends or called our family or stopped to breathe? Often we answer the question, “How have you been?” with, “Busy, busy!” in a feeble attempt to feel important. But what is it that’s keeping us so very busy? In today’s high-tech, high-speed, high-def world, how do we find time to relax and enjoy the little things so we can maintain high-spirits? I think one crucial way is to embrace simplicity. There are so many things that we tend to dismiss as unimportant or unworthy of our time and attention just because they are simple. Uncomplicated. Basic. But these are the very things that, because they require so little imput, often rejuvenate the mind and spirit by their very simplicity. Two nights ago, for instance, I was utterly pleased with the dinner I prepared but thought it much too ordinary to write about. Yet there was something about its modesty, quick preparation, and healthy balance, not to mention the happy family around my table that made it gleam every bit as brightly as something that I spent hours in the kitchen creatively developing.

Baked cod, roasted in the oven with yellow squash, zucchini, and red onion, sprinkled with garlic, lemon pepper, black pepper, slight Cajun seasoning, and paprika, and served with creamy angel hair pasta on the side.

Sometimes I almost find it ironic or perplexing that I enjoy activities such as crocheting or scrapbooking so much. But every time I undertake one of these projects I feel enriched, calm, happy. Perhaps it is the quiet that envelopes me while I pursue them that is so refreshing. In a world where we spend so much time staring at lighted rectangles and experiencing sensory overload in the form of music, news, tv, radio, games, internet… there is an undeniable peace and comfort in the quiet repetitive task of looping yarn over and over in your hands and making something warm and lovely and useful.

The colors I picked for my next crochet project.

And there is always the indisputable simple pleasure of playing in the rain. As adults, we see the rain coming and rush for cover because heaven forbid we should get a little wet. But children have it right. They see the rain coming and they want to experience it. They stick their heads back and their tongues out and spin circles in the driveway tasting the dizzying coolness of a summer shower. And it is delicious. It is timeless. It is simple.

Aiden playing in the rain.

I have learned as of late to embrace these simple pleasures with a new respect and satisfaction – realizing that they bring balance to the busy and calm the stress of everyday life.

3 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures

  1. I’ve gotten into some “crafty” projects lately – cardmaking, sewing, jewelry. I’m starting to plan gifts for Christmas – soaps, body scrubs, etc. I’ve really been enjoying it, which is very unlike me. Then last night I went to paint pottery, and I was telling my friend that it’s oddly therapeudic, and I don’t know why. This morning it dawned on me – it quiets my mind. I don’t think of anything else – work, paying bills, other worries, they don’t exist for that hour. It’s nice.

  2. Working with your hands is really soothing and fun, I spent an afternoon stamping brown paper bags (a tree, in orange and burgundy), making tags for them and making home-made place cards. I’m never happier than when I’m creating.

    The tech toys are mere simulacra.

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