commentary

Simple Things

Who could have guessed months ago that our daily routines would be flipped upside down? With our collective health at the forefront, we are unfortunately no longer presented with endless choices for spending our time. Confined to our homes, we are searching for ways to entertain ourselves and to stay optimistic and hopeful.

So, these days, how do you feed your body, mind, and soul? Read, clean, exercise, cook, call or facetime with family and friends? They’re all great options, but what about the simple things in life that can feed us in these difficult times; waving to a neighbor, taking a walk, or just hearing a heartwarming news story about the gracious nature of people. Simple things aren’t so hard to come by, in fact, they usually appear when you least expect them, at least that’s what I’ve found.

The other day, my husband and I enjoyed a ride on our front porch swing. We breathed in the fresh air, waved to our neighbors, and watched the squirrels scamper across the lawn. We laughed and talked and just purely enjoyed our time together. It was simply, a simple thing.

IMG_2093 (1)Our neighbor’s cat Stanley has been entertaining us for years with his cat-antics. Just the other day we watched him fight his own boredom by simply chasing a crisp oak leaf around a poolside chair. Once again, we applaud Stan for his efforts, simple as they might be; he made us laugh. At least he will have plentiful squirrels to chase this Spring since I can only assume their population is rising with less cars on the road. Fist pump for the squirrels, or should I say the cats?

A simple evening rain shower met me a few days ago where my treasured memories live; back to our family camp on small Vermont lake, and the family room in my parent’s home in Western Massachusetts. As my husband and I sat on our back porch, I could hear the rainfall ramping up. I asked him to turn the television off, and he politely indulged me as I recalled two cherished memories, and I couldn’t help but smile.

I closed my eyes and felt like I was a young kid again, snuggled into my sleeping bag on the second floor of the family camp. It was as if the same exact summer rain from so long ago had been completely duplicated. The drops danced shamelessly on the shingles and the thunder sat back, accompanying them from afar.

When I opened my eyes, the porch windows lit up; the lightening flashed and my husband and me counted the seconds to the next roll of thunder. Suddenly, I found myself transported to my parent’s home, sitting next to my grandmother on the family room loveseat. We were weathering the storm together, holding on to one another, cringing with each penetrating flash and grumble of thunder. I remember her soft hand in mine and the bond I felt with her.

It’s probably why I love thunderstorms to this day; they simply trigger good memories. No matter the time of year, I try to stop whatever I’m doing, not only to enjoy those peaceful single raindrops gathered on the shingled roof, but to respect the sheer power that surges from those boisterous flashes and claps. My heart still races during a storm, but I also experience an uncanny sense of peace as well; just like when I was in that cozy sleeping bag or holding tight to my Gram’s hand. Sometimes a natural reminder of simpler times is exactly what you need.

What is it that you simply need? Will your needs be met by whiling away the hours on a porch swing, watching a bored cat chase dried leaves, or melting into some memories brought on by a spring rain shower? One thing I do know, no matter what is going on in this world, and no matter how much we need to close down and be careful, we still can open ourselves to even the simplest of things, and sometimes those are the things we need most.

 

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