“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Yesterday, when Wellington suddenly was thrown into summer, everything seemed brighter and more vibrant. I left home to walk the short distance to the library, stopping to chat to with neighbours and with strangers who were all out enjoying an unusually calm, sunny day. It’s less than a half a kilometre from home to the library but it was nearly three hours before I arrived back home again. Instead of focussing on the physical therapy involved in walking to the library I enjoyed every aspect of my walk. I loved the feeling of the sun on my bare arms; I admired the gardens that were all looking so beautiful; instead of feeling my usual frustration that I walk slowly and awkwardly I was overjoyed that I could walk at all; I was truly happy chatting with the people I encountered. At different times strangers walked a short distance with me and I got a real kick out of sharing the day with them. I felt just plain exhilerated.
When I got home I happened to read those few lines and I was reminded how many pleasures there are to be found in small things, and how much additional pleasure there is to be had in giving thanks and praise to whatever higher being we acknowledge. There’s so much pleasure to be had living in the moment and knowing that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.