In search of Delight

I’ve been doing a variation on gratitude journal.  I’ve been blogging about things that delight me.  I started doing it just before the world began to implode.

It’s an interesting thing because it requires attention.  Delight I find to be a fleeting thing.  A quick moment that makes me smile, or a moment where the brain grenades recede because I found some sensation that overwhelmed them, like the soft fur on my cat or the smell of bread baking.

I think the attentiveness of it is part of it’s therapy.  Of trying to notice those tiny moments of delight that exist but are often as quickly forgotten or not given the importance they deserve.

It’s becoming a bit harder as the numbers of infected increase.  I have a tendency toward hypochondria, so I’m just waiting for the symptoms.  No.  I’m looking for the symptoms.  When I’m home I take my temp 5 or 6 times a day.  I’m not helped by having spring hay fever.

But as I look at how my brain has been dealing with this pandemic, I’m fairly pleased.  I have not fallen into a stillness.  The brain grenades have stayed mostly at a distance.  The worst part is the hypochondria.  And I am wondering if some of it is my attention to delights.  Of course Spring is here and that presents me with lots of moments of delight.  Walking outside to sunny skies and 60 degrees is just a rush of delight.  Seeing flowers growing all over the place when I take my walk is lovely.

I have had times in my life where I went through the whole spring without paying the slightest bit of attention to the white puffs of pear trees and cheerful dandelions and laughing daffodils.  And I think it’s not good for me.  I’m glad I’m noticing the delights of life.

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The Ephemeral Delight of a Hot Air Balloon

hot air balloon flying under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Have you had one arrive suddenly above you?  If you live in an urban environment that can be the feeling.  One day, you are working in your backyard garden and you hear conversation.  Above you.  And there it, floating impossibly above you – it’s colors screaming delight, it’s passengers happy to wave and join your wonder from their, possibly happier, perspective.  And then a sudden muted roar as the flame is ignited to give it some lift and your momentary delight floats away like the happy dream.

How can it still be so wonderful?  Hot air balloons have existed for more than 300 years. Indeed, if you consider the (unmanned) Chinese Sky Lanterns, they’ve been around nearly 2000 years.  They shouldn’t be anymore gawkable than a car or a plane.  And yet they are.  And I think they will be forever.  They have an ineffable quality that makes them continue to inspire awe.

Like all awe inspiring things we create events and images and stories around them.  Most cities of size have some kind of hot air balloon event.  You can buy countless calendars with dedicated to the hot air balloon.  Coffee Table Books, Websites, Pintrest Boards, Balloon Chasers and finally and perhaps most telling – advertisers.

The moment of magic they provide everyone who sees them is one of life’s delights.

 

The smell of bread baking

Is there anything quite so lovely as the waft of yeast bread filling your nose and then your soul?  It seems to have so much unspeakable meaning.  Home and Wellness and Love and Joy and all of it in a swirling of delight.

Sadly, it’s not my bread that is baking right now.  One of my neighbors has taken to baking.  I’m just pleased to have had the gift of the smell.

I’m quite excited now for the flour I ordered from Janie’s Mill to arrive so I can bake some for myself.   I was feeling deeply guilty about buying it.  It costs the moon.  And considering the unstable state of my job, I shouldn’t have done it.  But there isn’t a bag of flour anywhere in the Grocery.  And I am supporting Celi from Kitchens Garden and supporting a small business by doing it.  And I love bread.  And it’s excellent flour that didn’t strip the land of all it’s goodness.  And those are my reasons.  So.

I will try to remember to take some pictures and post them for you all when I get the flour and bake my bread.

EEEEEEK.  My flour arrived just now.  I’m soooo pleased.

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Broccoli, What a Delight

I’m not being sardonic, ironic or sarcastic.  I truly love Broccoli, although I keep misspelling it, so my delight does not extend to all it’s aspects apparently.  Thank you, Spell Check for your minatory corrections.  I’m frankly also glad for spell check, although I mostly express my annoyance with it.  Having grown up  and lived my young adulthood in a time before it’s existence, I know the suffering, the embarrassment of being a poor speller.

But back to the Broccoli.  I love it.  Raw or cooked.  Frozen or Fresh.  I don’t think I’ve ever had it canned.  I’m mostly not a fan of canned veg so probably wouldn’t love it.  But maybe?

I use broccoli slaw on my sandwiches instead of lettuce.  It provides crunch and a marvelous taste.  And so many more nutrients than lettuce.

I often take mashed potatoes and broccoli to work as my lunch.  It’s marvelous in a soup.  It’s a lovely additive to nearly any casserole.  Particularly those Mid American casseroles that generally feature Campbell soup of some variety.

Of course I love a lot of foods.  But what makes broccoli special is that it’s GOOD FOR ME. This is what makes it delightful.  To love something that is actually good for you is so rare that it’s nearly like finding the Hope Diamond, fully cut, in your backyard.

I felt it had to be celebrated.  Broccoli.  It’s Good.

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Hello Spring!

It’s here!  Its really here.  Don’t even try to point out weather forecasts.  I saw THIS in my front yard.

That’s right, skeptics.  That’s a tiny purple clover and a tiny yellow – something I don’t know but it was definitely a flower.  The landlord here has committed ONLY to mowing the lawn and so it’s a happy conglomeration of weeds.  Clover, dandelions, tiny white flowers and a morning glory infestation.  And all of that just cheers me up so much.  I cannot wait for all of it to burst forth.  I really have no idea why we have idealized a monoculture lawn of grass.  Because this lawn is gorgeous.  And requires so little effort.

Those little flowers combined with a beautiful sunny morning in the mid 50s gave me a feeling of delight, gratitude and hope.  It’s been a rather yuck winter.  Not because the weather was particularly bad.  It was a very mild winter here.  But my mood was bleak.  And those tiny burst of color just drained all the bleak out of my mood and filled me with light.

Even The Great Toilet Paper Panic of 2020 couldn’t kill it, despite things being quite scary at work.  Our business went into the shitter in a huge way.  We do transportation for people and all the corporations cut travel out.  All the schools cancelled.  All the big events we service cancelled.  It’s weird to watch a thriving business suddenly teeter in on itself.  Hopefully we can weather the storm.

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The delight of a cat’s fur

To be clear, the delight is when it’s still part of the cat.  When it exits the cat, it’s something else we won’t be discussing.

My cat, her Calico Highness Bijou, has the kind of fur that I delight in. img_20180721_151556883 It’s short to middling long, very fine and very very thick on her body, giving her a sort of soft fluff.  Petting her is a combination of sensations.

There is the softness that comes from so much fur that it squishes a bit when you stroke her and the silky softness that is inherent to the fineness of it.  When you pet her, she is particularly pleased by rubs around her ears, which means you also get the lovely low vibration of her purrs.  img_20200207_105352

All in all, it’s a tiny moment of delight when she comes up to receive her homage from me.  I can be in a deeply ugly place in my brain and if I can just switch it into being present enough to feel and enjoy the moment with Bijou, life gets just the little bit lighter, that little bit that comes from the delight.