Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Small things

My life has picked up speed ever since January rolled around, and I started studying frantically for the CPA exam, which I will be thrilled to complete by mid-July. I have not written much; I have had little to write. I find I have little creative energy at the end of the day. I cook less, I walk less, I read less, I go out less (unless it be to a cafe to knock back a latte and immerse myself in accounting for postretirement benefits or some equally abstract concept). Do I laugh less? Smile less? Find less joy? Turn my thoughts less toward God? I honestly try not to, but sometimes I end up throwing myself facedown on my bed and asking, When will I be happy?

The problem is not a lack of happiness or joy, though. I try to walk through my life believing that my time on earth is a gift--but sometimes holding onto your joy in the midst of a trying time has to involve looking in places you never thought to look before. What are the daily things that bring me satisfaction, the things I overlook when I am in the brightest seasons of my life? Perhaps if I sit and think, and try to compile a list of things that really make my life worth living right now, then I will be able to turn my mind to such things more easily in the moments when my daily ritual of pushing up against this granite wall begins to feel fruitless and impossible.

What makes me happy?

1. The smell of fresh basil, harvested from my windowsill.

2. Floods of small petals, too pale to be pink and too ruddy to be white, riding the air currents and blanketing the ground like snowfall.

3. A cup of fresh black coffee, with two gingersnaps for dunking.

4. Briefly catching the sound of a favorite song as cars drive by with their windows down and their radios up.

5. Closing my eyes and softening all the muscles in my face, just when the tension starts to build up.

6. Magnificent evening skies that remind me that all the world is in the hands of a being much greater than myself.

7. Observing the daily progress of the sweetgum tree outside my window, whose tender week-old leaves become larger and greener and sturdier daily--indeed, almost constantly.

8. Waking up the day after a long Pilates workout, to feel every muscle in my core aching as they regenerate themselves, stronger and more defined than before.

9. The intermediate stage of consciousness, right after I wake up in the morning, when every limb on my body still feels limp and heavy, and I feel like I am being swallowed into my bed.

10. The ability to love someone, which comes solely because I have been loved before I ever understood what it meant to love.

11. Dreaming about friends whom I have not yet met--promises for the future.

Like an impressionist painting, which is made up of millions of tiny brush strokes which you will not see until you take a closer, more discerning look at the big picture, our daily life is made up of millions of tiny experiences. Those experiences can be observed, embraced, treasured only when we are willing to ignore the large-scale view of life and scrutinize its components. But the components are what give life substance and depth and significance, and we miss out on so much when we blind ourselves to them. I hope never to miss another tiny experience... but instead, every day, to be able to make this list grow longer and longer with all the joy I find.

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

Really nice.