I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field for a while, and gone my way and forgotten it. But that was the pearl of great price, the one field that had treasure in it. I realise now that I must give all that I have to possess it. - R.S. Thomas
Simple pleasures in times of deep unrest are more than transitory comfort or distraction from 'the real work'.
Simple pleasures are even more than good medicine for a soul feeling shredded by current events and fears about the future.
Simple pleasures and small joys we discover and lean into are just as valid and necessary as the hard work and soul searching we commit to each day of an awakened path.
Remember how our dear and wise elder poet Leonard Cohen told us that the cracks are where the light gets in?
Well, inside those (initially) painful cracks, the parched lips and raw throat, simple pleasures find easy access to our heart center, precisely because our expectations have fallen so low and our defenses are down.
They don't ask for much, they’re not threatening, and so their entry is rarely obstructed.
They are the tiny ambassadors of joy that march silently into our bodies with little wisps of light and sweetness, to soften and open the fear and grief-narrowed tunnel to our center.
The real work of enlightenment, of remembering our divine and ancient inheritance, does not have to be based solely on the big decisions, the life changing realizations, the bridges we burn behind us or the ones we feel compelled to build before us.
The real work is often comprised of a gentle, humble recognition of the simple, sometimes invisible pleasures that creep respectfully into our lives each day, illuminating grievous hurts with grace, or painful loss with a momentary reprieve, in body or mind.
That first sip from your morning cup.
The stinging heat on the soles of your feet when you enter the full bathtub.
The way that incense smoke weaves its way upward and out, winding around your senses, filling you with a tangible sanctuary of scent.
The clear, wet-drenched air of late autumn.
The chorus of birdsong when all the trees have shed their dress and seeds are exposed for a wildlife thanksgiving feast.
The color light robes herself with in November.
The feeling in your chest and throat when the stranger returns your smile.
All the green lights on your way to work.
Catching the sunlight break through a thick ceiling of overcast skies.
These are not so simple after all, and they are not small.
This is life, here on planet Earth, as a human being, BEING human.
Simple things are often the very best way the Beloved shares pure, unadulterated love.
And love is the place we heal- deepest and most quickly.
Every experience we collect, day by painful or glorious day, is an offering to our growth at souls. Every beautiful simple pleasure is part of our journey.
It is not some small little paper cup of water while we run the marathon here alone in the heat. It is part of the road, in full equality with the struggle and labor we give.
We can honor each pleasure as sacred before the Beloved, as worthy of our attention. Especially now, when so many of us are feeling so exhausted, ill, weary of the battle we may sense before us, and all the scars left from the wars behind us.
Small delights, simple pleasures and the 'little things' we write off as spiritually meaningless can take on new meaning as their true nature reveals itself to us.
The feeling state we find ourselves in, in the moment we fully inhabit a 'simple' pleasure is our natural and true state of being: a state of wonder.
To be in wonder with our self, our environment, the beauty of our surroundings, whether social or earthen landscape, our world and our universe, is the most natural WAY to BE.
This is our original soul state of being.
At one with our source, at one with all, in wonder of the great beauty we abide within, in each moment, expansive with gratitude.
Every single simple pleasure we are gifted is a reminder that we are not alone in this thing; not abandoned orphans.
These are the silver linings of the cracks we sustain in our daily struggle to achieve and understand and survive each obstacle that presents itself for the overcoming.
That's how the divine light of love finds us all - tyrant, activist and child alike: inside the simple pleasures that bypass our logical, analytical mind and shoot straight for the heart.