I woke delighted this morning to see lights dancing through my curtain (the sun rises behind a large tree outside my window). It reminded me of the beauty and diversity of creation, the small things God incorporates to make our lives more beautiful and joyous.
For me the infinite diversity and beauty of creation and our ability to appreciate it are some of the greatest proofs of his existence. Evolution cannot explain our appreciation of beauty. It has no practical purpose in our survival, but I’m so glad of its enrichment.
Sometimes I miss the wonder of it, immersed in plans and busyness, but leaning out of my window on a spring morning I pause to smell the freshness, the scent of nature outside my window, the gentle warmth of the sun on my face, bringing colour and light to the surrounding garden. I remember the beauty of it all and I’m so glad to be alive.
My current favourite activity – breathing! After dusty, tropical city air accompanied by a bad cold I’m in rapture enjoying the smell of the delicious, cool, fresh air of home again. No longer sick or jett lagged, life smells sweet!
I still remember when visiting friends in Sicily, after a long stay helping in a critical situation in Greece concerning Kurdish refugees. Our host remarked how thankful and appreciative my kids were compared to hers. How did I do it? she asked.
I replied, when you don’t eat meat for months, have to bathe in a bowl of hot water, wake to freezing cold and fight constant mold on the walls and ceilings in winter and intense heat in summer, your home seems like paradise on earth by comparison!
Needless to say our conditions were much better than those of the refugees we were trying to help (we at least had a house!)
I thank God every day for my beautiful, warm apartment, pension and sweet supportive family. I am so blessed!
(The photo is from bing images as we can’t take photos of our special sailors)
My eleven year old grandson was a little anxious at the idea of accompanying me to my volunteer sailing. He loves kayaking and water in general but wasn’t sure how he’d be around disabled folks. (He was staying with me while his parents were away.)
“I don’t know how to act, I just feel so bad for them,” he explained.
“Don’t “act”, just be yourself, they are experts at that,” I explained. “Show them respect by treating them as you would anyone else.”
He was trying extra hard to be helpful as we helped ready the boats. A normally friendly guy, he seemed a little reticent around all us busy retired folks (it being a week day the younger volunteers were working). Then the “special” sailors began to arrive. He’d been helping fish out the weed with a long branch (it’s been a problem this year) and one of the teenage sailors seemed to think this a great task and joined him. They seemed to quietly enjoy each other’s company sharing the task, so our smart leader decided to try him on a kata-canoe together with several other sailors and a carer.
I was drafted to the safety boat from which I noticed a lot of noise coming from the canoe, my grandson’s voice yelling above the commotion. Concerned that he might be making a nuisance of himself (he can get a bit much sometimes lol!) we drew alongside and I asked the carer if he was getting too rambunctious, but he replied, no he was doing great at getting the others to join in.
After the session ended he came bounding up.
“I’ve never had so much fun and I just made five new friends! I see what you mean Gran , I really like these guys!” he yelled at me.
That was it for the rest of the day. He went out twice more on the canoes not only pulling his wait paddling hard in the hot sun, but getting the kids/families to join in. He was so appreciated that a family, that came for the first time that day, tried to give him a tip! Lol! (We explained that he had had as much fun as their kids and no way did they need to tip him!) but I heard them talking to each other saying they’d never expected it to be so much fun and that they’d definitely be bringing the kids again.
Home exhausted, but happy, he asked eagerly “can I come again next week?”
“You were right about them Gran,” he added, “they were more fun than my regular friends. They don’t try to act cool, they are just themselves and it’s so much fun being with them.”
The bonding surprised me and I was real proud of him. He’d seen right past their varied disabilities to recognise their true value.
The words of this old, old, song came in my head today and I paused to reflect share a few of my favourite “freebies”. (Maybe you’d like to share some too.)
1)Top of the list has to be love. This one is absolute (in spite of the adverts.) You can buy sex, you might even be able to “buy” a beautiful wife or hunky candy boy, but money can’t make someone really love you (in fact real love, in its many forms tends to be more common among the poor.)
2)Next must come life. This is less absolute, as a lack of money for food, protection, medical help etc. can mean someone loses it, but the gift of life its self comes free to rich and poor.
3)Water. Now I know some enterprising multinationals are trying very hard to get control of this (something to look out for folks! Don’t let them do it – boycott bottled water.) But water has this wonderful tendency to drift right through their fingers, evaporating into the heavens and, replenishing its self, return as free rain. I love water!
4)Happiness. Again don’t be fooled by mass media and all those fake smiling face book or magazine pages. Things cannot make you happy, nor can money, so don’t spend your life chasing the illusionary carrot. I’ve lived long, and social observation is a hobby of mine (I like to learn about people). Whereas happiness can be found in rich homes now and then (generally you find someone with a big heart at the root of it) I’ve found it’s far more often a guest of the poor. (I heard Mexico rated as the happiest country in the world – Mexico??? They have it hard there. Happiness is pretty hard to do a survey on but the conclusion they came to is worth pondering.)
5)Then yes, there’s the sky. Every inch of land most places has its registered owner (especial here in the tiny UK lol!) but the sky is free. Anyone can look up anytime and enjoy it. Of course man has messed it up in some places with pollutions, but just get outside the purple haze and you can feast for free on clouds, light and pure colours.
So that’s my top five, would you like to add a few of yours?
If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.