Cascade of Delights – 26

I’ve kept my delights to one per day until now. It felt like a discipline, a way of being really intentional. Then today I experienced a series of delights—a cascade—and I thought, Who am I to deny myself the delight of multiple delights? Just before I left for work, as I was putting on my raincoat, I looked out my patio window and saw a little bird with twigs or grasses in its beak. I’ve seen this up close before and it melts me every time. I immediately begin making up stories about mama or papa bird preparing their nest. The movements are small, the beak is small, and the items the bird finds are small. This is one of nature’s delights that is so easy to miss, but I caught it and did not stop watching. I walked up to the sliding glass door to get a closer look. This little bird was filling its beak with as much inventory as it could to take in one flight. Then just a few feet behind this activity, I saw a rabbit chomping on tall shoots of grass. This rabbit was having a breakfast feast of grass. I have a children’s story about rabbits that I haven’t been able to get on paper for years, and so I watched this rabbit as if it was research. I stood there taking the mental photos I’ve talked about before. I finally tore myself away from the backyard wildlife delight headed out the door.

I parked my car in one of its usual neighborhood spots a short walk from my office, and at the last minute pulled my stocking cap out of my backpack. While the walk isn’t long, this morning’s wind was sharp, and I wanted to stay warm. I felt a bit too bundled up—it is spring after all—but I choose comfort over fashion every time. I made it into the building, swiped my card into the suite, and was met with enthusiasm. “You look amazing! That raincoat is awesome!” Several other colleagues turned in my direction to see what the first colleague was referring to and I was met with more smiles and comments about the raincoat/stocking cap combo. Two days in a row! Compliments and words of affirmation. I’m embarrassed to admit how much I needed these words, but I did, and I drank them in like a glug of fresh water.

I proceeded to have a series of conversations with colleagues–each one a delight. In one, we laughed about a shared podcast we both love. In another, the same coworker who liked my raincoat, paid me a compliment about the high school photo I submitted for a recent team building exercise. Later, another colleague and I shared our mutual respect for Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements (Be impeccable with your word, Don’t make assumptions, Don’t take things personally, and Always do your best) and how those four pieces of advice have changed the way we move through the world. After lunch, I popped into another colleague’s office to tell him about my delights writing project after a recent conversation we had about my novel writing nine years ago. He lit up, and said, “What a cool idea!” I told him about Ross Gay’s inspiration and how it had really enriched my month. As we wrapped up, he wrote down the book title and told me how our conversation had inspired him to look for his own delights. He smiled and told me to write about him being delighted, and so I am! A sense of connection was what made each of these conversations such a delight.

My final delight of the day was receiving an email from Andrea with the first chapter of her dissertation ready for me to read. I was deeply moved by her words and knowing that I’d had a front row seat to the long hours and efforts that brought her to this chapter. I was in awe of the way she organized the work, explained it so even a layperson could understand, and left me ready for the chapters to come.

Today reminded me to be open to all the delights a day has to offer whether I write about them or not—especially on an ordinary Tuesday.


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