Perfect Delicious Joy

Containers For The Soul
Containers For The Soul

It is just past noon. I’m at the beach. Sun, blue sky, a diamond ocean. A perfect breeze. The smell of kelp and sea grass and hot beach stones. At the horizon, three boats at full sail.

Perfection and delicious joy.

There are others here too, sharing this beauty. Someone eating a slow lunch. Another reading. A quiet conversation carrying on the breeze. Two bike riders pausing on the road above the beach, and a bike that squeaks with each turn of the wheels as they leave.

I am an ocean baby, born in July as the summer began. My first beach day at a few weeks old, and every summer since.

I am home here. I feel it in the way my body relaxes and becomes present to all my senses. I feel it, my mind quieting, the river of thoughts slowing, stopping. Rest here, my heart says, be open. And I do, I am.

There are places that open me. Places that are physical or spirit or imagination. That open me to my biggest self, the one that has no lines, boundaries, walls, fences. The self that is connected to all, easily and gracefully, through joy, love, just being

I keep watch for the places in my life that open me. I know in these places my grandest ideas and creations come to me. The sparks that flash into sight, then stay and grow if I let them. They live here, waiting, in these places of connection.

And what is the spark that flashes into view today? Exactly these words I send to me and to you, about the perfect delicious joy of being here. Present, open, connected, and writing.

What do I want to do today?

Coyote Calls to the Protectors-detailIt’s the end of July, the middle of summer. This is how I feel when I write this. Momentarily sad.

It is how I felt as a kid every year in the middle of summer holidays. Then I would plunge into August, and forget. I’d go back to waking every morning, hear the crow family having breakfast, hear the songbird I had never seen. Feel the warm air fall through my open window and across my face. And then my first thought, always–what do I want to do today?

Anticipation. Excitement. Pure pleasure.  What I was really asking?  What do I love today.

There is luxury in waking like this, in love, knowing I have the whole day to play. No demands. No have-to’s.

I am doing this today. A gift to myself, to be in love and play, all day.

I want to write. That’s a given. Haven’t done any writing for the better part of a week and my mind is itching to go.

What else? Sit on the back deck in the shade under the grapevines. Let Edgar the Cat drape himself across my legs. He can nap. I’ll daydream and not do anything else at all. Just be here. Just be.

Maybe, after that, I’ll get one of my puzzle books from my studio and my blue-purple-green-pink pen. Return to my lounge chair in the shade, do crosswords and logic puzzles. More word play. I love it.

I’ll wander inside to make lunch. Sesame bagel and cream cheese and Tuscany ham. Green olives fished from the jar. Cool water from the tap. Oreo cookies, the originals. Each one carefully pulled apart and eaten in layer order. Summer lunch. Satisfying to the stomach and the soul.

What else do I want to do today?

Read. All afternoon. The book recommended by a friend and borrowed from the library. Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work. Small book. A gem. Read the obituaries, he says. They’re about life and risk and creating a heart’s desire.

Then, begin rereading Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. This is my fourth reading. My fifth? I’ve forgotten. Parts of Anne’s book live inside me now. There is a reason people talk of devouring a book, of being a voracious reader. That’s me. My body is words from the books I love.

Dinner now. Easy. Rice and sweet-and-sour pork leftover from last night. A two-night dinner, I call it.

Finally, a game with my husband and son. Klondike, or a few rounds of Sorry, or Scrabble (more words). We played Scrabble last night. A close game all the way, the best kind of game. Long and short words, all over the board. Corner to corner. We make up our own rules, and they change each time we play.

This is my day, in the middle of summer, the end of July. A day to play, to please myself. A gift. No demands. No have-to’s.

I wish you such days in your life, such gifts. What do you want to do today?

Enjoy.

______________________

Mentioned in this post:

Austin Kleon, book Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered, Workman Publishing Co., 2014   http://austinkleon.com

Anne Lamott, book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1995   www.salon.com/writer/anne_lamott

 

The summer morning joy list

Blackbird Dance (desire)
Blackbird Dance (desire)

I’m outside this morning on the back deck.  Here in our summer home, writing my summer joy list.  All the things that fall into this moment like pearls on a string, in my lap to be played with, loved, enjoyed, relaxed into.

Yes.  Relaxing into summer.  Mmmmmmmm.

 

Morning sun, warming me, loving me.

Blue blue sky.

White clouds passing.

Wind in the trees and the grape vines, the kiwis and the lilacs.  Shaking the leaves and branches, whispering ‘play with me’ and ‘grow’.

Hummingbird on the clothes line, viewing his world, taking his coffee break at the foxgloves.

Baby crow on the rooftop, demanding, begging, ‘feed me’.  He started calling at daybreak.  He has been fed several times.  He’s still hungry.

Folding chairs unfolded, settled into with blanket and pillow.  Feet up, lap full of binder and loose leaf paper for writing.  Hand full of neon pink pen with pink ink (shades of Dr. Seuss).

Words.  Blessing and gift.

 

This is my summer morning joy list.

What’s yours?