You know what I'm doing right now (besides writing my blog)? I'm sitting on my back porch watching the sparrows come and go on the bird feeder. I'm also watching a few butterflies that have taken a liking to the shrubs on the other side of the porch railing. The sky is blue, there's a nice breeze and for the first time in a few weeks the temperature is a mild 79 degrees with low humidity. There's nothing earth shattering about any of it, but it's good. Simple, but good.
The best thing about simple pleasures is that you don't have to go far to find them. More often than not, they find you. A little while ago, for example, while I was sitting here quietly, a hummingbird stopped by to check out the petunias in my hanging baskets. This amazing little creature hovered effortlessly above a flower, not more than six feet away from me, for several minutes. It wasn't the first time I'd ever seen a hummingbird, but it was a wonderful surprise.
Back in February, when temperatures were in the single digits and it seemed the snow would never stop falling, I promised myself that I was going to enjoy every last bit of summer this year and make the most of all the simple pleasures that summer brings. As promised I've spent many a lazy afternoon swimming or just floating around in the pool. We've gazed at the night stars from the comfort of our new (older, but new to us) hot tub. I've kept the majority of our plants and flowers alive and looking good. We've cooked on the grill numerous times (though we do that year-round). We've watched movies, eaten meals and listened to music at the bar on the back porch. We've been to the flea market. I've spent hours watching and identifying the birds and butterflies that frequent our yard and I've talked and laughed about things that matter and things that don't with my husband and my children. I couldn't ask for much more.
But there is more. Last week was overcast. We didn't get much rain, but the sky was dull and gray for days. On Friday night, around 8:00, the clouds started to lighten and the sky took on a pink and yellow cast that was just beautiful. We stepped outside to get better look and we were instantly amazed. The light had a magical quality that I can't even begin to describe. It changed the colors of everything in the yard. There was a soft, pink glow everywhere. Flowers that are normally purple were pink. Our neighbor's yellow house was peach. Every detail, from the smallest blade of grass to the tallest tree seemed to be standing out in a muted, yet somehow vibrant technicolor. Remember when Dorothy steps into Oz for the first time? That's what it was like. As cheesy as it sounds, I told Mr. Willoughby that the world had taken on the color of memory. He said it felt like being in a rainbow. It was softly faded, but brilliant. Fleeting. And truly magical. You definitely can't ask for more than that.