☕️Anticipation and Delight

A Saturday Caesura

I spent the month of April anticipating spring, watching with delight as snow white gave way to earthy browns, and most recently, to hints of green.  And now spring is here.  The anticipation is over.  Life continues.  And isn’t that how it goes? We look forward to something – graduation, career, marriage, children, travel – and when the waited-for-thing arrives, we celebrate and then pack up the party hats and slip into something more comfortable and ordinary and continue with life, and sometimes in that ordinary continuing we stop finding delight.  

At some point everything we wished for in spring seems humdrum, run-of-the-mill, so what, or whatever. We anticipate the fresh new leaves of spring but complain about raking them in the fall.  We delight in lush green lawns but are annoyed at having to mow them each week. 

Occasionally we’ll do or see something that sparkles with delight – an evening BBQ on the deck, a drive in the countryside, a hike in the mountains – but mostly our days are smeared with the nondescript colours of ordinary.  So we make sparkle our quest but too often lose the ability to discern between what is real and meant for delight and what is illusionary and results in despair.

We live as if wonder and delight cannot be found in the mundane and exist only in the extra-ordinary, the superfluous, the majestic, the miraculous.  But what if wonder and delight are woven into the fabric of creation?  What if we took our eyes off the Big Shiny Things and found delight in something as ordinary as a cloudless sunrise, the gentle touch of a spouse, a moment of laughter with a friend, a muskrat swimming in the ditch. 

We live as if anticipation is not a sustainable emotion, its life-span restricted to that liminal space before the big events, significant changes, momentous moments.  But what if we stopped reserving our anticipation for the Big & Memorable and lived each day as if it is in itself an anticipation, a continual expectation of yet another day and another and another.

What if the reality that life does continue is extraordinary and delightful and wondrous and anything but ordinary.

🌿Spa Day

First there was sunshine, spreading warmth with rich generosity

then there was a puddle, not too deep, beneath a spreading willow tree.

Then the clients swooped in like a —well, exactly like a flock of excitable Redpolls.

The spa rotation was simple and chaotic:

– pre-warming on willow branch of choice (loosen up with wing stretches)

– puddle-time (include frenzied wriggling, splashing, dipping for optimum benefits)

– post-warming on willow branch again (perfect for extensive deep-preening, fluffing, feather-setting)

Rotate. Rotate again and again and again

until every speck of cold and dark and winter is cleaned from every feather

until every drudgery of the day is bathed in utter delight.

From the mouths of children…

Fall has arrived all golden and cold.

On this particular day leaden skies and the bluster and bite of a north wind precipitated dressing double-double and foraging for gloves and a toque before heading out for my evening exercise routine.

I was almost home again, head down into the wind, when I encountered a boy out walking his dog. The dog eyed me with curiosity from across the street, and so did the boy. He was wearing a light-weight hoodie, hood-up mode, and held the dog’s leash in bare hands.

The boy seemed to say something to me, but I couldn’t quite make it out (probably because my ears were fully swaddled). He repeated it, a little louder.

“It sure is nice and hot today!”

Oh really? Well, sure, why not?

“Why yes. Yes indeed. It sure is!” I played along.

“Just look at the beautiful sunny sky!” he continued, gesturing towards the mass of grey hovering above us.

“Isn’t it lovely? I hope you remembered sunscreen.”

“Sunscreen?” He chuckled. “Why yes. Yes indeed. I put lots on!”

And so we continued in opposite directions, both of us resisting the newness of cold in our own way.

Both of us with hearts warmed by a playful, imaginative interaction.

Let’s do more of this, world.

🌄Delight

Ever since I was old enough to safely explore beyond the boundaries of the yard, I have delighted in the way vetch vines create micro-jungles along the forest floor, the way flowers bloom and fade in a seasonal procession of colour, the way sunbeams and breezes use tree branches as props in their shadow plays.

The delight has only increased over the years.

I cycle up and down prairie roads and delight in the brilliance of canola in full flower and in the undulating waves of grain. Rich shades of green lie heavy across the landscape, anchoring everything to the soil, to summer.

I hike a mountain trail where rogue rivulets from recent rains and ongoing snow melt flow down-over-around-under rocks and roots. Airy forests give way to dense shrubs, boggy meadows, and, finally, to steep slopes carpeted with lichens and stubby alpine flowers, their impossible presence a hardy welcome in these regions that border barren rock and scree. Snow still clings to the leeward edges of jagged ridges and peaks. The wind is cold. Drizzling rain turns to ice, but it is not enough to pelt away giddy delight in the views that extend in all directions.

Expansive. Majestic. Breath-arresting.

Sometimes being outdoors fills my heart so full of delight it aches.

Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2