August is as pleasantly calm as July was wonderfully busy. I’ve had time to catch up on all my favorite hobbies lately, which means I’ve had time to sit on my deck and write. I’m taking a break from writing stories but I can’t ever take a break from writing, so here are some entries from my Journal of Delights. The first one is so fresh, it’s still a bit warm. Enjoy!
Just beyond my deck, a crow brings a hard nut to a branch of the maple tree and works it open with her beak. Another flies up beside her and they greet each other with a brushing of beaks. A hummingbird lands a few branches away and sings its squeaky-wheel song at them before flying off to check the crooked cherry tree for a bite to eat. A little sparrow keeps visiting the deck, sprinting and flying in short bursts, letting out soft chirps, like she’s talking to herself. More birds call to each other from the ravine, their trills and whistles like cobwebs strung between the trees. The sun is dappled on my legs and hot on my belly. A single crow remains on the maple branch, beak pointed to the blue sky, feeling the same way about this day, about this moment, as I.
Today I opened my door to see my sister standing there holding a tub of giant rainbow-colored balloons she filled with water and froze overnight. The balloons were grazed with a delicate layer of frost. I picked one up. A shiny drop of water let loose and rolled down its side—the promise of a riotous afternoon for our preteen children. It was the gift of a day from our kids’ younger years, when balloons and rainbows were a part of daily life.
Today’s delight came from hugging an 80-year-old on her birthday. I gave her a hug full of life and joy and was surprised to feel it given back to me doubly. Was I expecting less? A hug faded or wrinkled with age? I shouldn’t have. I gave her the gift of a book. The Book of Delights, as a matter of fact. “Oh,” she said, the title having done the work of a whole book, and we both teared up and hugged again. It is a rare occurrence when the joy of giving a gift perfectly matches the joy of receiving it. And what a delight that is.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Chinese BBQ pork