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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Simple Pleasures

With a milestone birthday rapidly approaching, I realized that I need to pay more attention to life's simple pleasures.

So this morning, I took my cup of tea and my morning newspaper and sat outside at a little-used table near a large pine tree in my yard. The winds were calm and the temperature very pleasant. I used to sit outside and read the paper, but I got out of the habit for some reason. Today was a perfect day to start this simple activity again.

Yesterday I went hiking at Ghost Ranch, in northern New Mexico's beautiful red rock country. Although it was quite windy, the crisp blue sky was dotted with puffy white clouds, and the temperature was pleasant in the low 80s. This was another simple pleasure -- hiking and taking photographs -- that I too often dismiss.

Each of us has simple pleasures that brighten our lives. For some, it might be reading a great novel. For others, watching the sun rise and gradually brighten and warm the sleeping Earth. For me, other simple pleasures include:

  • Spending a few extra minutes in bed
  • Taking an afternoon nap
  • Baking cookies from scratch
  • Making a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup for my daughter
  • Fresh, juicy blackberries and strawberries
  • Doing a random act of kindness for a stranger
  • Listening to my favorite music
  • Driving with the sun roof open
  • Taking a road trip by myself
  • Going for a walk in a new place
  • Listening to rain hit the skylights in my house (a rare pleasure here in the desert)
  • Smelling the air after a rain
  • Taking a great photograph
  • Warm clothes straight from the dryer
  • The smell of clothes dried on a line outside
  • Watching my dogs roll in the grass, or joyously run through the yard
  • The taste of a fresh, juicy peach
  • The smell of a home-cooked (not microwaved) meal
  • Fresh cinnamon rolls
These are just a few of the simple, inexpensive things I enjoy. The older I get, the more time seems to rush by. And the more important it is, for each of us, to find and enjoy our own simple pleasures.