I’m taking time this week to savor something every day: to stay in the moment of something I love. To do this, I of course started a log, using my fountain pens. I thought I’d share some of the small entries from moments that brought me joy this week.
The scent of tall grass in a sunlit meadow
On my run, I passed a meadow shining green and burgundy with plump seed heads. The grasses with their heavy tops gleamed in the light and warmth of the sun, and I breathed deep to inhale their ripe, golden, grain-in-the-sun scent. It smelled like sunlight making green life.
Colorful birds at the feeders
I’m on the back deck in bare feet and sunlight, watching a red-bellied woodpecker peck, peck, peck seeds from the hanging feeder in the oak. Its breast is dusky grey, its back and wings are bold, high-contrast zebra-stripes that are more black than white, and its crown and nape are scarlet red. A blue jay hangs on the lip of the platform feeder, cadet blue with a hint of green; the soft cadet deepens into almost a royal blue. The jay flies to the branches above the feeder to hide in the leaf cover, then darts down in a flash of blue to grab seed, and then back up again. I wonder if it has a nest.
Bunnies in the black-eyed Susans
A fat brown bunny is in the front prairie bed, nibbling black-eyed Susan leaves. It sits like our kitties sit, back rounded, butt on the ground, shoulders up. Its ears stand tall, and its little mouth is in constant motion. Its lips are like shrimp mandibles; they grab and flick and feed blades of grass and leaves. No hands needed. Green disappears into the rabbit’s mouth like tree limbs into a chipper.
Red cardinal under the butterfly bush
A male cardinal, scarlet red against the green of garden leaves and the purple of salvia flower spikes, hops on the ground at the other end of the garden from the bunny. The cardinal’s red pops no matter what backdrop it stands against. I always thought cardinals must be prettiest in winter, when their bright red is the only color against a snow white landscape. But they stand out in spring too, when their Christmas red contrasts against the bright green of fresh new leaves.
I looked up from the dishwasher to the kitchen window as I unloaded dishes this morning, and the cloud bottoms were crimson in the dawn. I stood and watched the sun paint. Soon, the entire sky behind our neighbor’s house was a deep pink-orange, smooth and even like the inner recesses of a conch shell.
Wind in grasses
On a warm day, I love to watch grasses sway in the wind. I sit out back in my garden chair and watched the seed heads of the early blooming blue fescues arc in a light breeze. Fine tendrils of prairie dropseed wave like hair underwater. The grasses are still short, but when they fill in and grow tall, they will ripple like waves on the ocean when the wind blows them.
The smell of a charcoal grill
Freshly lit charcoal briquettes catch fire in the grill on the back deck. Swirls of smoke drift over me and I breathe them in. I smell campfires in fresh air and the outdoors. Jimmy Buffet plays on the stereo inside. I hear his beach and breezes voice through the screen door, along with the tink of a fork in a glass bowl as Brian stirs marinade in a glass bowl. Birds chatter and twir, leaves rustle, and the grill spatula and tongs clank as they sway in the wind from their hooks on the grill handle.
Rain and wind with coffee by the window
Today there is 100% chance of rain all day. It’s blowing from the opposite direction from normal — the wind is coming from the east instead of the west. It’s coming down heavy and steady, drenching the garden which will drink deeply. The sound is a gentle steady patter. I like to watch the splash patterns move up the street in waves as the wind gusts. It’s the kind of rain you know even without the weather forecast that it will be here all day. This is a rain that will settle in.
Bright colors on a rainy day
The sky, street, and white paint of our porch railing are grey. Dark grey flat sky, black grey slick road. But the grass is neon green. Yarrow flowers are yellow like lemonhead candy. Salvia flowers spike in deep grape purple. Dogwood leaves are chartreuse against the dull grey sky. Thyme, penstemon, and catmint flower in soft flutters of lavender.
I’m taking a free online Science of Well-Being course with friends from work and friends from life, and this act of savoring something each day is Week 2’s rewirement activity (rewirement is another word for homework — practices to rewire our brains to tap into happiness). The act of savoring helps us intensify and extend the positive feeling we have when we experience good things. I highly recommend the course.