I heard a song on the radio the other day; the lyrics were about how “life comes at you fast.” It was befitting that I didn’t have time to reflect on them much, since I was running late to work. The tune and the lyrics stayed with me, though, as I suppose was the intent. They made me think about slowing things down, and about taking more time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life…like a sunset.
I can remember a point in my life (it seems like years ago) when I would wake up every day and think of something that I had to look forward to in that very day. It might have been something very small or seemingly insignificant, but no matter how small it was, it was a practice that I somehow developed. It wasn’t anything that I planned or conditioned myself to do. It wasn’t a mantra that I declared as I faced the mirror while I was getting ready for work. It was an honest-to-goodness, fleeting thought that would come to me soon after I opened my eyes. And then, I guess life got busy. I was rushing from daylight to dark, running my children to school and sporting events, and working my full-time job and loving most every minute of it all. But, for whatever reason, probably a combination of exhaustion and the hodgepodge of thoughts about picking up brownies for bake sales (no, I never cooked them myself) or about getting uniforms out of the dryer, the thoughts stopped coming to me, or maybe I just wasn’t taking the time to listen. What is strange to me, though, is that I was so busy, that I didn’t even realize they had stopped. That is, until lately.
I know I’m preachin’ to the choir. We’ve all been victims of our busy lives. But the truth of the matter is that we all truly do have something to look forward to in every day, no matter how slight or frivolous it might be. The beauty lies in the ability to not only recognize the simple things, but to appreciate them, as well.
The habit that I developed many years ago is gone, but that’s not to say I won’t try to regenerate it. In the meantime, if I’m heading westwardly towards home in my car, or sitting on my front porch, and a beautiful sunset looms ahead of me, I’ll slow down enough to enjoy it, if only for a minute.
As usual, I’ll leave you with a quote. Of course, on sunsets…
“…she remembered watching a summer sunset from this very spot. Not so long ago; just a lifetime.” ~ Sharon Kay Penman