Delighting in Simple Pleasures

Posted by on Nov 16, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

It’s snowing again.  I know; it comes with the territory.  You can’t live in Northern New York and not expect snow from November to April (some years, October to May!).  I dread this time of year.  As soon as the first snowflake appears, I hide in the house, wrap myself in blankets, and ask God why in the world He brought me here.  I spend a lot of time staring out the window, longing for the warmth, sunshine, grass, and flowers.  The snow, unfortunately, is inescapable.  It’s one of those things that you just have to accept and deal with. 

 

Yesterday was a three-hour shoveling day.  The wet, heavy snow covered the porch, sidewalk and deck.  By the time my shoveling was complete, I was wet, cold, sore and tired.  I walked to the post office (why drive a quarter of a mile on ice?), the snow pelting my face both ways.  To say I was grouchy would be an understatement.

 

I awoke this morning to more snow falling.  It wasn’t long before the sun broke through, however, shining bright and beautiful.  The snow glistened in the sunlight.  My rain chain, dangling from the gutter, was covered in ice, shining like glass in the sun.  But, before midday, the clouds cloaked the sun, darkened the skies, and scattered more snow across the landscape.  Sighing, I made another pot of coffee, trudged back to my office and poured over this page.  How can I write something uplifting when I feel so gloomy?

 

Writing, deleting, re-writing, more deleting was the pattern of my early afternoon.  My empty coffee cup took me back to the kitchen for a refill.  The steaming cup in my hand, I went to the French doors in my living room and stared out at the falling snow.  Still dark and dreary, I thought, straining my eyes in search of some slight break in the clouds.  Not a trace of a sun beam.  The snow was piling higher and higher on the ground.

 

I shook my head and started to turn away.  Bright red caught my eye.  I looked to the pine trees; their branches cradled mounds of fresh snow.  A male cardinal flitted from branch to branch.  Such a beautiful contrast to the snow!  He danced from limb to limb then tree to tree.  “Look at me!” he seemed to say before flying into the woods and out of view.

 

His dance made me take a few minutes to really look around.  The snowflakes fell more gently, the delicate lace landing on the window panes.  A few bright orange leaves still clung stubbornly to the branches of the trees, adding their own splash of color.  Even the clouds didn’t look as dreary, a slight pink tracing the edges of the gray.

 

I sipped my coffee and returned to my work.  I can’t help but marvel at the way something simple can completely change my perspective.  The beauty of a bird flitting in the trees led me from gloom to delight.  It was easier for me to see the rest of the beauty, to take pleasure in the very things – the snow, the clouds, the ice – that had depressed me earlier, simply because I’d noticed that beautiful cardinal.  It’s a treasure when we take a moment to find the good, the lovely, in our moments of gloom.  I’m thankful for the miracle of nature, blessed by the fact that God uses the simple things in His creation to bring us great pleasure.

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