This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.
1. Our visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens. A break from the smoke, the worry about the fire, a gorgeous location and lovely long walk, and the fact that I am lucky enough to not only have a husband who will consent to going, but who had the idea in the first place and enjoyed it every bit as much as I did.
2. Being able to open the window over my desk this morning and listen to the birds as I wrote. The fire is no where near gone (in fact, they’ve said that while they will be able to eventually contain it, it most likely won’t stop burning altogether until the first snow), but the wind had shifted and the air cleared enough that me and the birds of dawn could hang out together this morning. I had missed them.
3. Walking the dogs with Eric. Because it’s summer, vacation time, we can do this more often, and I really enjoy it.
4. Danielle Ate the Sandwich CD Release Party. As always, she was adorable and funny, not to mention incredibly talented, and put on a great show. I finally worked up the courage to talk to her, and even though I had a whole story prepared to explain, remind her who I was, to help her remember, I only had to say “Hi, Danielle. I swore this time I would talk to you” and she said “Are you Jill?” and hugged me. There was a caricature artist working there that night, so I had him draw my picture. If you ever wondered what I’d look like as a cartoon, here it is. He totally got the hair right.
5. My meditation practice, and the Open Heart Project (Practitioner Level). I needed extra support this week, it was more important than usual to have a method for manifesting sanity when my experience feels less than sane, and these two things gave me just that. I am so profoundly grateful, for the practice, the guidance, and the community.
6. How good people can be to each other in hard times. When I was at the park yesterday afternoon walking the dogs there were two girls selling paintings and taking donations to help with the High Park Fire, I heard multiple stories of fire fighters and community members (many of them women) saving homes (one woman’s home was saved three different times), the Fort Collins Shambhala Center sangha stepped in to feed and house staff evacuated from the Shambhala Mountain Center, and community members are dropping baked goods off at CSU for the firefighters to grab on their way through. It made me think of this, one of my favorite quotes from Anne Frank:
In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness. I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too. I can feel the suffering of millions – and yet, if I look to the heavens, I think it will come out all right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.
Bonus Joy: In one week, we are leaving to drive to Oregon and settle in to our little house on the beach in Waldport, “where the forest meets the sea.” Just thinking about it makes me happy, and I’m ready to go. I love Colorado, the sun and the land and our little house and my life here, it really is where I should live…but the truth is that half of my heart, no matter where else the rest might be, stays on this long stretch of beach, looking at the water and listening to the lullaby of the waves.