The first daffodil I have seen this… spring? It’s not really spring; is it?
It’s only January 27th, for goodness’ sake. The weather forecast calls for a mix of rain and snow here two days hence, and I’m dreading going to the grocery store later for onions, potatoes, and milk, putting off facing that anxious crowd. Although with each minute I delay, I significantly increase the chances there will be no more milk left to buy when I get there.
Meteorologists must feel very gratified to have such an effect on the population when they see the hubbub the word “snow” can cause in a small Southern town’s supermarkets.
But I’ve spent a good part of the day focused on beauty, breathing deep, face tilted to the sun, so I’m pretty sure I can withstand any number of panicked shoppers. My soul has been recharged by a tranquil visit to the South Carolina Botanical Gardens, and it was such a pleasure I’m considering writing them a thank you note.
Who to address it to, though? “Dear spirit of the gardens”? “To whom it may concern”? “To all the people who made this lightening of my heart on a January day possible?”
Actually, as for a lightening of the heart, I must also address a sincere “thank you” to Christina Martin of Soul Aperture*, who has called out to all her legion of admirers to “show January who’s boss” and do a Simple Things post today. These posts celebrating the simple joys and beauties and pleasures of everyday life are enough to lift anyone’s spirits, and I’m particularly pleased that she called for them today. Lately, I’ve felt in need of a lift. Yesterday was particularly trying, so stressful and depressing that I couldn’t even find the energy to write a post to be published first thing this morning, as I usually do.
No matter, though. Nature seemed to know I was in need of a pick-me-up and came through gloriously. While trying to get a better shot of some sweetheart pink camellia blossoms that had fallen into a patch of pretty green weeds, I ended up sitting on my butt in the pinestraw, and finally lying on my stomach there in the dappled sun.
When I’d gotten the shot I wanted, I stared down the hillside to the pond below. Gentle winds were ruffling the surface of the waters, making them sparkle. The mellow noonday sunshine was caressing my right cheek and the top of my head, like a benediction. Birds were singing nearby, and the music of a full-bellied creek could be heard faintly in the distance. Each breath came so slowly, and the air smelled clear and just a little sweet.
I realized, without words, that I was happy. My worries had melted away under a sweep of blue, blue sky, with my body hugging the earth. A smile spread across my face and didn’t want to leave me, lingering at least a couple of hours. (It just returned, rather impishly, as I typed that sentence.)
These are my simple things today: sunlight, blue sky, birdsong, fallen petals and a persistent smile; moving water, fresh breezes, the season’s first daffodil, and a connection with it all; eyes that can see, ears that can hear, warmth on my cheek, love in my heart.
I wish you all joy today, wherever you are.
* And if you leave a comment on Christina’s blog today, she and her family will donate a dollar to Doctors Without Borders. Another good reason to stop by — and check out a few of the blog posts about Simple Things while you’re there.