There are times when I am able to take long periods for refreshment and restoration, where lapping waves and turquoise waters help me breathe deeply. Most of the time though, my life is quite ordinary and I am replenished in moments of beauty and joy, like pearls on a string.
Music: The second movement (Adagio) of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin BWV 1060 has never once failed to set my spirit soaring. The dialogue between oboe and violin is so finely matched that sometimes it’s difficult to discern where the oboe ends and the violin begins. It is a gentle conversation between kindred spirits. The entire 14-minute concerto can be found here, and the Adagio begins at 4:51. When you get there, close your eyes and take it in.
|Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito... from Pixabay|
Words: Most often, it’s not the story that refreshes my spirit. It’s the words. Fresh, unique phrases that surprise and delight, and spark tingles along my spine from head to tailbone. I recently read Toni Morrison’s Beloved. It is a dark story about the horrors and aftermath of slavery, and I couldn’t read it for long periods of time, but the language kept drawing me back. Phrases like
On nights when the sky was personal, weak with the weight of its own stars
Their quietness boomed about on the walls like birds in panic.
Words like these exhilarate and replenish me. They urge me on to work harder at my own writing.
Laughter: The last time I had an all-out-can’t-stop laughing fit I was in a Chicken Chef in Gimli, Manitoba. I couldn’t tell you what set me off, but people at other tables turned to stare. My husband and grandson looked at each other bewilderedly.
And then took a photo.
How refreshing to be able to laugh. Whether it’s full-blown, like that day in Chicken Chef, or a chuckle of delight at something else, to laugh is to be refreshed.
One chuckle I got this week:
My two-year-old grandsons had never seen their Daddy without his beard. This week he shaved it off. The first time the twins saw him sans beard their reactions were notably funny:
A: Me no like this Daddy.
E: Where you other chin?
If I know I need to have a good laugh, I often turn to children’s books. Who can resist Jack Prelutsky’s silly rhymes?
I have a pet tomato,
it doesn’t have a stem.
My friends have pet asparagus –
why can’t I be like them?
|Image by 育银 戚 from Pixabay|
Sometimes I go looking for these moments. Sometimes they surprise me. Either way, when they happen I need to stop in my tracks and take them in. Add those pearls to my string. Moments of refreshment sprinkled throughout a day, a week. Strung together they form a strand of sparkle and shimmer that adorns this ordinary life.