Month of Delights Day 1

I’ve been reading Ross Gay’s The Book of (More) Delights, his second year-long exploration of the simple daily things that bring him delight in the form of a collection of what he calls, essayettes. I enjoyed reading the first book. Delighting in things is a way of life for me, so it was a beautiful experience to learn what delights another person. Particularly someone with such different lived experiences. Gay is a Black man, a poet and author, a college professor in a Midwest city.

In this second volume, he starts by recognizing how many people have written to him and told him that his first book inspired them to take note of their own delights-writing them down, sharing them with others, and inspiring others to tally their own delights. When I read this I decided this could meet a recent need I had: return to the month-long habit of writing about a particular topic as I had done in the autumns of 2015-2017.

Writing about what delights me will be something to look forward to in the liminal space of March where one day it is warm enough for short sleeves and the next requires a stocking cap and mittens. The goal is one per day. Whether I post it each day remains to be seen, but I am motivated to keep my eyes and ears and heart open to what will come my way. It’s long been my experience that we find what we’re looking for, so without further ado, here’s my first delight:

I work in an office building that was once a department store. The building has few windows, but luckily the bank of offices and cubicles where I work does have access to a window. This evening as I was walking back to my office from the work room, the picture outside the window caught my attention. On the other side of the glass was a stormy blue sky the hue of which I cannot name, but I loved it’s richness. What made the blue so striking was the contrast of the leafless trees in front of it. The sun was shining so brightly that these branches glowed luminescent. I have seen this sight before. The combination of light, color, and form, but it’s rare, and it always stops me in my tracks.

I suspect I notice the natural world differently since becoming a gardener. I take nothing about nature for granted after spending the past five years putting tiny seeds into the ground and marveling at what they become. I felt the same awe in the hours, days, weeks, and months after giving birth to my daughter. That gorgeous baby had been an idea, and then a speck. And look at her now, I’d think, as her newborn body curled up against my chest.

The delight in today’s sight is also knowing that I’d caught a scene that is fleeting, that I could have so easily missed. That’s the thing about delights. They are not static. Part of their charm is their temporary status. By the time I walked out of my building and down the sidewalk to my car, the sun had dipped toward the horizon, and the trees were no longer sparkling. It was okay. I was glad for that moment of magic.

One Comment

  1. I KNOW this scene! Oh, I know just what you’ve described! Isn’t it like nature takes a big breath and says, “Let me twirl up this delight and see who notices. This is a special one!”

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