“. . . One day I realize I am skimming the surface of everything. There is but hollow pleasure in too crowded weeks. Real rewards come from engaging in fewer activities and experiencing each one more deeply. Loss of alertness and freshness of approach tell me to slow up. Life is best when it is a balance between activities and intervals of aloneness. In the intervals we are able to deepen the meaning of the activities.
The days I like least are those when I pass through my environment superficially almost as if it were a stage backdrop. I scarcely see anything except what needs doing at the moment. Meals become just something to get and nothing has depth. This is living “two-dimensionally.”
In contrast, when I am not pressed by a push of events I move more slowly and savour each moment. Every activity becomes a feature in itself and the simplest routine has its own joy. I feel the texture of the blanket when making a bed, and it is good. I feel the soil when I am repotting a houseplant and it is good. I listen beyond words to what people mean. I look at the sales person in the store and really see her. I have time to write the author whose book I have liked, and I telephone my dinner hostess to tell her how much we enjoyed the evening. This is living “three-dimensionally” – going that extra mile, doing all the things you are not required to do, but which give added meaning.
Living this way you see not only your goal but the path that leads you there and all the little flowers and ferns that grow along its edges.”
p. 198-9 The Shape of a Year Jean Hershey
I have always wondered why I am irresistibly drawn to take pictures of the tiny details
a tendril on a rose hip
the curl of bark on a white birch
the way the morning light falls on the cupboard door
I think this quote by Jean Hershey explains it, at least partially.
Noticing the tiny – the small exquisite details – is part of that “three-dimensional life”.
There is so much more to it of course.
It’s really a way of living in the present – a way of attending – to God, to others, to yourself, to nature,
finding beauty in the everyday,
I love Ann V’s encouragement in this area.
Join her and the gratitude community
we’ll savour life together.
You must, must, must head over to (In)Courage – if you haven’t already.
Ann V writes of the real joy secret and almost 500 people are joining in the gratitude chorus.
I’ve been writing gratutude lists for a long time – but I have never numbered them.
Today is a good day to start.
I need the joy medicine
- A faithful God whose love endures forever
- my loving husband who works so hard
- sweet grown-up children who still love to hug and kiss me!
- a wonderful extended family – sister, brother, in-laws, nieces and nephews
- quiet times in the Word
- comfort of prayer
- walks on the beach
- laughter with friends
- sunlight in the morning
- hot coffee in the morning
- a husband who sings crazy songs and makes me laugh
- a daughter who cleans the whole downstairs
- a great-niece almost here
- a warm fire
- a hot cup of tea
- my new gel pens
- playing my harp
- emails from dear friends who live far away
- skype – to my son and dil in London
- facebook to keep track of my band boys
- a son and dil who are doing so well in university
- comments from sweet readers on my blog
There! 25 – a good start!