selective focus photography of woman holding yellow petaled flowers

Why Bother Noticing the Pleasantries in Life?

Simple pleasures abound and the best, I believe, are free. To discover joy, satisfaction and contentment, one only needs to pay attention to what already surrounds us in our daily existence, and acknowledge that which is good. 

Naturally Good

Each season in nature; winter, spring, summer and fall as well as the seasons of our lives; beginning, middle and end, abound with morsels of goodness. Noticing the good in each of these various seasons might take a little time and practice, but when we invest our awareness toward the good fortune that surrounds us, we can’t help but become more and more grateful. Afterall, gratitude does beget gratitude.

Although winters may seem long, dark and sometimes dreary, when spring finally arrives, it is hard to remember the cold, quiet months of the season of winter. Spring brings longer days of light, warmer breezes and colors fill up the landscape. The grass turns green, and yellow daffodils, pink tulips and purple lilacs suddenly pop open. The air fills with the fragrance of blossoms and birds sing from early dawn to late dusk. Spring is a feast for our sight, music to our ears and aromatic therapy all wrapped up in one season.

Summer of course lends itself to a little more leisure. The tradition of family vacations, near or far, long or short are still part of family life. Summer gives us a good reason to host reunions, attend weddings or give block parties. Summer brings us outside, into the open and among friends.

Then the activities of summer fun slow down as students and teachers return to the routine of school and its structure. Fall colors of red, orange blend with the fading color of green. The air turns crisp and the sky a deeper shade of blue. 

When winter descends once again upon us, somehow we are ready for it. Out come the snow boots, coats, and extra blankets on the beds. We stock up on hot chocolate, make pots of soup and surround ourselves with good books to read during the long evenings.

Then there are the seasons in our lives. Sometimes changes happen so fast and we can’t keep up with the ever moving world around us. Other times the days pass too slowly and we feel lonely. No matter the season though, if we are alert, fully receptive to all that is going on around us we can’t miss the good to be discovered. I like Mary Oliver’s advice when she writes in one of her poems, “Pay attention, be astonished and tell about it.”

Why bother noticing the pleasantries in life? If we pay attention and stand amazed, we will have a lot to say about our good fortune in life. 

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