It has been a long hot summer in southern Ontario. My life has been full, packed, too busy. Working full-time and commuting four hours a day into a hot and crowded City, there is little time or energy left for summer’s pleasures at the end of the day. But today, I am working from home, and the four commuting hours belong to me!! So, instead of rushing out the door with my lunch bag and newspaper in hand at 6:55 am, I am indulging in life’s little pleasures.
I wake up without an alarm clock, stumble outside in my jammies, and climb into the white rope hammock that stretches out under our Tulip tree. I lie there taking in the sights and sounds of the day. It is going to be hot and humid again today, but right now, there is a hint of coolness to the air. It is quiet outside; no cars, buses or motors breaking the stillness of the morning. There is only the steady hum of a hundred crickets, interrupted by the occasional chirp of a bird.
There is also the watery burble of the fountain that aerates our man-made pond. This little 4 by 3 foot pond is populated by several fish, a small painted turtle that we found on the side of the road last year, and seven frogs that we rescued as tadpoles from a drought-stricken wetland last summer. As I head out to the hammock, several frogs leap from the rocks beside the pond and plop into the brown water. The sound evokes childhood memories; hunting frogs with my cousins at my grandparent’s cottage.
I head back into the house, put on a pot of coffee, and open every window in the house. We have had the air conditioning on for weeks now and the air in the house is stale and stuffy. I let the outdoor air in; air that is fresh and moist and sweet from living things. I sit outside with my coffee in hand and take in my garden. It is parched and yellowed from an unnaturally hot and dry summer, but there are still ten shades of green, highlighted by dark shadows. The leaves are all different shapes, long and thin, heart-shaped, frilly, and ace-shaped. The scene is punctuated with little patches of colour; pink, white and purple and blooms encouraged by the rain two days ago.
After a week spent walking on crowded side walks beside hot paved roads and tall concrete buildings, I drink in the cool and the quiet. After a week spent working in a dark cubicle inside a tall tower, I revel in the earthiness, the organic beauty, the peacefulness of my own back yard. What are some of the small pleasures in your life??