|© Nick Pashley | Dreamstime.com|
The other morning I was woken up at 6.15am by a very strange sound. At first I wasn’t sure what it was but it was definitely coming from the direction of the window. I got up and padded over to the window which had been open all night. The wooden venetian blind was pulled down but open and there, sitting on the window ledge inside the window were two young magpies sheltering from the heavy rain. If the blind hadn’t been there they would have been in the bedroom. I expected them to fly off when they saw me but no – they sat there chattering away to each other, tapping on the window sill and the glass and the blind, totally oblivious to the fact I was there. It was only when my cat started to meow that they flew off. I couldn’t help smiling. I had been inches away from these birds – so close that I only had to move my hand a few inches and I would have been able to touch them. What a privilege to see those birds acting so naturally in such close proximity. It set me up for the rest of the day. And so I got to thinking about the things in life that bring me true happiness. Most of these things are free for everyone to enjoy and require little effort to experience- they just happen, but they make my heart soar.
Here are a few of my favourites.
- Watching the birds and squirrels feeding from the feeders in the garden and the little field-mice underneath the feeders catching everything that gets dropped. Sometimes, if I sit at the table on the patio and stay really quiet, they come to the feeders less than three feet away.
- Being greeted by my two dogs when I come downstairs first thing in the morning. No matter which side of bed I get out of, right side or wrong, they always make me smile. They wag their tails, they jump up to lick my face, they bark, they run round in circles and they’re just happy to be alive and ready to face a new day.
- Catching sight of the woodpecker in the woods when out walking the dogs. You hear him a lot but very rarely do you see him and that sudden flash of red always makes me smile. He’s a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
- Driving up a hill early in the morning when it’s misty and suddenly, just when you reach the top, the mist clears and you find yourself swathed in glorious sunshine and blue skies.
- That smell just before it snows in the winter. For those of you who can smell snow you’ll know what I mean. For those of you who can’t I’m sorry. It’s just too difficult to explain.
- The way my horse whinnies with delight and comes charging to the gate of the field as soon as he sees me. He’s probably hoping that I’m going to feed him but it still makes me happy that he does it.
- Any beautiful sunrise or sunset. Whenever I see rays of sunlight coming down through the clouds I like to think of them as angel rays.
- A rainbow.
- Silence although not necessarily complete silence. The sounds of nature are allowed but there should be no traffic noises, no-one talking, no music, no phones ringing – nothing. Absolute bliss.
- Smiling at someone you don’t know and having them smile back at you.
|© Olivier Le Moal | Dreamstime.com|