Simple Joys in a Pandemic

Why is the yard all wet Mom?

Do I have to say what you all already know? 2020 is a really crappy year. Seems every month when we think it can’t get worse it does. Is there anyone that isn’t affected or, dare I say, depressed as this year unfolded? As I found myself attempting to be positive during the second half of this toxic year the words that continued to flow out of me in various forms of attempted positive communication were “wishing you happy days and simple joys”.

This week I found myself pondering “simple joys”. What does that mean and why am I wishing others this sentiment when I am not actually embracing what that means. Well today that finally came together for me and it’s not a simple explanation. But I will attempt to bring meaning to that thought here as I ponder my day.

A variety of circumstances led me to today. A day when I needed to find peace and I found myself leaning on things that were distantly familiar, things I had lost sight of their purpose and joy, things that I forgot I needed. Thankfully it was a rainy day, a day that we have not had in the desert since August and even then only briefly, highly unusual. Ask this desert girl what constitutes a beautiful day and I will quickly tell you it is a cloudy, rainy day, especially if it lasts all day. A day like today. Rain on the desert is a comfort that has to be experienced not explained. A simple joy I had not felt in some time, something 2020 seemed to deem unnecessary. So whatever force there was in the universe that circumvented that dry spell, thank you, oh my gosh, thank you. This was the first spark of what I meant when I expressed to others “embrace the simple joys in life”.

So, what does one do on a rainy day other than sip tea, read a book and maybe bake some cookies? Sure, that sounds nice. Me? I go for a walk. In the rain. I got wet. It was fantastic. And cold. But it was a glorious simple joy. If you’ve never gotten wet in the rain, on purpose, you need to. The child that lives in your soul will thank you. Especially if you find a puddle. There were plenty on my walk. I’m smiling as I type this.

Not sure when I forgot this simple joy… oh yes, actually I do, 2020 depraved me of it. Shame on me for letting that happen, therefore I couldn’t stop there. If there is one thing I indulged in too much this year it’s the news. The morning news over coffee. Then the afternoon news over lunch. Followed by the evening news during dinner. And then there is social media woven into the day, wow what a waste of precious time, where is the joy in this. Other than when I’m with clients, I work from home, so you get the pattern. My walk today was in the late morning so after catching up on some work after that glorious hour in the rain I made my lunch then paused. Instead of turning on the news I took my lunch outside in my beautiful back yard, I had forgotten how beautiful it was. I scooped up my cat, Enzo, and we explored the yard together, no news, no phone, just the on and off soft drizzle of the rain. I had forgotten how saturated the colors of the earth were after a rain. I purposefully took notice of how Enzo explored the yard, everything he smelled I wondered what was so interesting. We had not done that together in so long, why did I let this year take that away from me? Such a wonderful and simple joy. Enzo sits beside me now, tired from his afternoon of back yard adventure. I’m thankful for that. Grateful for a simple joy rediscovered.

Rediscovery… maybe that’s the message when I expressed to others that I wished them happy days and simple joys. Rediscovering simple things that got lost in this pandemic, missing contact with other people as we shelter in our homes. Small things become more meaningful, with or without people. Things that were previously taken for granted, the really small things, and it’s so simple, I guess I never really noticed how simple small things could bring such joy.

So, to all of you, I wish you simple joys. May you be mindful enough to find delight in things that previously went unnoticed.

As you ponder this thought, go seek out some simple joys that have become lost to you. I do believe that this year, more than anything, your soul needs that focus. I would love for you to share your experience here in the comments for others to find. I have a feeling that “simple joys” may be surfacing here again from me. Peace, love and simple joys to you all.

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