"The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe before it's gone." — Rumi
I have been finding joy in the little things.
Quiet streets. Clear skies. A hummingbird perched on a branch in my garden.
Despite all the chaos, death and despair taking place in the world, I am astonished by how beautiful and full of life my neighborhood really is — and by extension, how beautiful and miraculous life itself really is — now that I have the time to pay attention.
Last week, I heard an owl hoot in the middle of the day. I've never heard an owl in my neighborhood before. A wild peacock cruising along the sidewalk. A mother opossum with four tiny babies clutched to her back. A flock of parrots in my backyard tree. Not the Pasadena parrots...different, smaller ones I had never seen before. Hummingbirds visiting favorite flowers, mockingbirds serenading us during happy hour, hawks soaring high and low, the most incredible, vibrant blooms...
Did I mention I live in the city of Los Angeles?
I am not the only one experiencing this juxtaposition of awe and despair. All over the world, people are noticing what nature does when we give it a little space. Birds sing, flowers grow, bears play and there are swans in the Venetian canals.
In a recent article in the LA Times, journalist Mary MacNamara interviews environmental journalist and author Alan Weisman, whose vision of what the world would be like without humans in his 2007 book, The World Without Us, seems to be playing out in real time now:
“'People are suspended between terror and wonder...They’re terrified that this is all so fragile, but they also realize there are things we have been missing — the birdsong everyone is noticing, the beautiful skies — and that those things are important.'”
—Alan Weisman, as quoted in the LA Times
It's true, these things are important.
It is also important to know that this strange time of sheltering in place, social distancing, and economic suspension will not last forever. Nothing does. Soon, we will spread back out. We will touch again. The daily grind, along with all its positives and negatives, will resume.
Whatever they may be, wherever you are, I invite you to take a little extra time this weekend to notice and celebrate the little things.
There is so much joy to be found.
Namaste & Cheers,
Mindful Breathing / Pranayama for Joy
Words of Inspiration
"If we do not trust in our ability to observe, to be open and attentive, to reflect upon experience, to grow and learn from observing and attending, to know something deeply, we will hardly persevere in cultivating any kind of these abilities, and so they will only wither or lie dormant." –John Kabat Zin, Wherever You Go There You Are
"That it will never come again is what makes life sweet. Dwell in possibility. Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough." –Emily Dickinson
For more messages of wisdom and inspiration, follow Chiara @theyogisommelier