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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Enjoying a Summer of Simple Pleasures

I have this crazy list I keep in my head. It's a list of simple gratifications, things I feel are important to our personal development, things that I want to make sure my daughter experiences during her childhood. I want her to remember summers as more than weeks at a time of watching marathon Scooby Doo videos, realizing that her world, a world of iPads and Netflix, is overloaded with electronic time wasters. She might need to be guided into learning how to appreciate life's quintessential pleasures, activities that are satisfying enough on their own, without demanding additional entertainment.

Thankfully, some activities have already been crossed off my list because they are regular occurrences in our home. These are things like: squeezing out fresh lemons to make lemonade, building a tent in the living room and watching Pee Wee's Big Adventure while lying on our stomachs, and pulling out the Southern Living Book of Cakes and making the prettiest one just because we feel like it.

Two days ago, right as the sun dropped out of the sky and the skyline was nothing but a lingering purple haze, we slowly walked though the front yard and carefully cupped our hands around a few fluttering lightning bugs. We capped a Mason jar with a piece of tin foil pricked with a fork after sprinkling the inside with some of the extra food leftover from her Ladybug Land. Peeking around the corner into her room, I saw the little bugs lighting up the jar as they sat atop of her dresser. She had nodded off while watching her fireflies and her sleeping face had a delicate little smile. This alone made my heart happy.

Others things on the list need to be planned out more diligently, like taking a family road trip cross country and visiting the ghost town that has popped up under Lake Mead, camping in Yellowstone National Park, and the hiking inside the Grand Canyon. Before she goes off to college I want to have this time together because childhood only lasts so many years and the years seem to be passing by so quickly.

As I had a moment of alone time this morning I took the chance to enjoy one of my own personal simple pleasures. Senia Mae had been dropped off at camp, the chickens had been fed and watered, both Kim and my parents were off to work, and I had the whole house to myself. On this quiet Thursday morning there was no activity on our end of the lake: no fishermen, no neighbors, and no random boats flying past our cove causing excessive waves. I decided to indulge myself and take a dip in the water without my suit.

Swirling around in the gentle rippling waves, the warm sun touched places on my body that usually don't see the light of day, I felt that satisfaction, the wonderful feeling of basking in nature as I turned my face to the cloudless blue sky and floated on my back. The cool water rippling over my skin left me feeling refreshed and completely rejuvenated. Life was good. Then I remembered something my daughter had said yesterday.

"My kindergarten teacher said there are electric eels in Lake Lanier!" I snapped out of my moment of bliss trying to erase the thought of a slimy eel sending 600 volts of energy into one of my more sensitive areas. Aarg... for some reason I couldn't erase the image of a long creature rubbing up against my bare, glistening skin in the water. Certainly that information is not true, I think to myself as I quickly wrap my robe around my body. I'm definitely not going to let fear ruin my ultimate moment of Zen but just in case I'll Google it when I get back to the house!

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