Enjoying Simple Pleasures... Again

It's berry season, and I 'm reminded of a post I wrote back in the fall of 2014. I was struggling to feel "myself" and remember gratitude as I dealt with infertility. It is a favorite piece of mine that didn't get a lot of reads, so I'm resharing it today. The idea of noticing simple pleasures for deeper happiness still holds true for me; just the other day I was on a hike, and we came across some wild berries. My eyes popped open and mood changed from fatigued to giddy! 

Often, my simple pleasures now involve my daughter. In fact, she and I have ventured outside to survey the berry crop frequently during these long summer days. She's obsessed with berries (wonder where she gets that...) Sadly, we moved from the home with the multiple raspberry bushes I discuss in this post, but we planted some blackberries at our new place that are slowly producing now.



Without further ado, here is the post:

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We have a couple of raspberry bushes in our yard, and our neighbor has a tall one that hangs a bit over our side of the fence. While none of these could be considered copious producers, each bush steadily makes daily raspberries - a few at a time - from mid summer to early fall. At this point in September, their bounty is fleeting... which made me think about how much pleasure I get from the unassuming plants each year.

Every day, I wander past the bushes. Oh look! A few more berries! Sometimes they are dark and perfectly soft. Sometimes the white buds are just starting to turn pink, and they are too hard for picking. No matter; they'll be ready for me to eat them soon. A few berries might be shriveled and drying because I didn't notice them soon enough (always a sad sight). I might glimpse, for the first time, a little droopy, leaf-covered clump holding a cluster of perfect, yet-to-be-picked berries. How did I not notice them until now?

It is rare to collect more than a small handful in a day. Depending on my mood (and hunger level), I might just pop them all into my mouth at once and savor the juicy burst of flavor. If there are only a few, I may eat them individually in succession, experiencing their distinct berry-ness one by one. In the case of a nice handful, I will carefully take them inside, balancing delicately in my hand, to eat with some yogurt or pudding later.

In the midst of our complex lives with daily conflicts to resolve, work duties, roles as doctors (or patients), as spouses and parents and caregivers and friends, it is a treat to find so much pleasure in something so simple. The equivalent of less than a dollar's worth of raspberries that are home-grown and fresh, perfectly tasting and yet with slightly different characteristics each time, gives me immense happiness. Which is something I need lately in the midst of life's challenges. I'll be looking forward to their arrival next year!

This recent Huffington Post piece talks about the often forgotten act of noticing and points out some things in our lives that deserve to be noticed. One of them is "simple pleasures". What's your simple pleasure? Share it here!


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