Thursday, June 15, 2006

Simple Pleasures

Last night, one of my favourite little people, and daughter of my best friend, was admitted to hospital with anorexia. Her disorder has degenerated to the point that the hospital is now monitoring her to ensure that thanks to her struggling organ systems, she doesn’t suffer either heart attack or stroke.

I am past asking ‘why’. I’m sure there are a million reasons why; some blatantly obvious, and others that only the patient will ever know. The question I am now asking is ‘what’. What can I do? What should I say? What time should I get there? What should I do when I am there? What should I bring with me? So naturally, being the communicator that I am, I had to ask someone who’d also been in this position. The friend I asked is also a writer, and this is part of the email she sent in response.

“Has Willow been to touch the dolphins? Should be easy to take her to sea world. Has she any animals? Can you play Bach to her? I would be surrounding her with the best nature can offer. Beautiful shells, a stone. What about Buster Keaton or any of the old, gently funny dvds. Water is a great healer - know any waterfalls? - take her for a treat and stand as close to the waterfall as possible. Can she paint or draw how she feels? I have a feeling words are useless to her at this point”.

Of course my irrepressible friend is right. This is what my little patient is missing! She’s lost her awe! She’s missing the wonder of everyday things. So this is what my blog is about. The beautiful, wonderful, amazing things that are so common we often miss them. I want to know about the simple things that make you smile and which could drag you from the deepest abyss.

For me there is always the sky. Not just any sky, the special, jacaranda blue of a Queensland sky in Winter. I also love the early Summer warmth that seeps through my bones and makes for that looser-limbed walk we all adopt when the weather heats up. And then of course, there is my garden. Every day, new wonders wait for me in my garden. In the morning they drip with glistening beads of dew, in the middle of the day there are butterflies wafting through on multi-coloured wings, and of an evening, I am always enchanted by the sweet scent of jasmine.

I know my lovely friend Cyndi Redding, goes ‘leaf peeping’ when Autumn arrives on her doorstep. What do you do? What is the thing that makes you smile and keeps you in touch with the wonder of life? Let’s have a day celebrating simple beauties! I’ve told you mine…now you tell me yours!

Oh and since all my characters seem to have one of these things themselves, the winner can choose which novel of mine they’d like to win!


Blogger LadyVampire2u said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend being in the hospital. She's definitely in my prayers and I know she will be better soon. In the meantime, I think your right about bringing life's pleasures to her.
For me some pleasures are the songs of the birds or the feel of my pet's fur/feathers under my hand. The steady beat of rain and the feeling of the wind blowing through my hair. I enjoy hearing people's laughter and sharing secret smiles with family and friends. Small things. Things no one would notice until they are gone. Even something so dumb as the wake up and listen to my family puttering around in the house before I even open my eyes. I guess those things give security. They are normal and comforting. If I was laid up in a hospital I would miss these things. And I would hope someone would bring home videos for me to watch, that I would wake up sometimes to those beloved voices in my room, or maybe to have comforting items around me from home. Also books to escape the sterile walls and phone calls to break up the seriousness of the situation. Even if the phone call was my brother calling to complain about a paper cut. But thats me, and just suggestions based on myself. The truth is this friend of yours will be fine mainly because you care as much as you and it will definitely show.


5:44 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I go on a walk. We live in the middle of town, but there's a creek that runs by our apartment and there's quite a mini-forest that exists. So it's wonderful to walk along the edge and just take in all the nature. And occasionally see deer or turkeys.

8:50 AM  
Blogger LISA WILLIAMS said...

I try to start the day off peacefully. A cup of tea on the patio by the garden.

I hope you friend's daughter gets better soon.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Shuck Ying said...

Prayers for your friends daughter. You are so correct. Life just flies by you and you need to rejuvenate and get a pick me up. I try to relax with a good book.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jolene said...

well there are so many things that can bring me a sense of peace when i need it. I live in the nations heartland, and in the middle of farm country, so spring and fall have especially spiritual meanings... spring is renewal time, things greening up, crops being planted and springing to life.. all is being reborn.
i absolutely love flowers, especially lilacs. i find some wierd sense of peace smelling fresh lilacs in the spring. also the beauty of the rivers flowing by.. fall is the time of harvest and reaping the goods of the year.. to see the combines hard at work is awesome to me. the smell of a pile of autumn leaves... the rain coming down at night...
there are so many beautiful things in the world.. we just tend to pass them by so quickly without really taking the time to stop and smell the roses...
I will keep your friend in my thoughts.she is going to have a lifetime struggle ahead.... Jolene

9:04 AM  
Blogger Deborah Chan said...

As the book says "don't sweat the small stuff"...easier said than done. But some pleasurable moments are: watching some toddlers at the park and their joy and sometimes mischievous ways just having fun; cuddling quietly with the hubby.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Dee said...

Beautiful artwork and an important reminder to us all to pay attention to the little things in the world around us. Thank you for reminding me. I'm definitely the type to get too focused on a project to pay attention to the life around me. I do walk with my dogs every day, but half the time I don't even see the nature we're walking through. Open that focus, girl!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

Watching my cat brings me intense joy and happiness.
Sending hugs to your little friend.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Paige Burns said...

Prayers for your friend and her familiy Bec!

Watching my husband get excited about his sports games.

Making sure my boys are covered before I go to bed, it's the only time they're peaceful.

Arizona sunsets.

Good friends.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Cherie J said...

Wow! So sorry to hear about your friend's daughter. I will keep her in my prayers. As for the simple things in my life that move me there are so many. The best thing is watching my toddler discover new things. He is so full of joy over the smallest things. We can all learn from lttle ones like him how to enjoy life to the fullest. I love watching him play in the park on the swings and the slides. he would play for hours if we let him. Another thing that brings me such joy right now is feeling the baby girl I am currently pregnant with moving. I also enjoy looking at and smelling beautiful flowers. In the winter, drinking hot cocoa and hot tea is a must because they bring me so much warmth and comfort. Curling up with a good book in the evenings is also very soothing and relaxing for me. There are so many of life's pleasures to enjoy.

12:08 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

Looking at nature - the trees, the sky, the water, the birds - remind me of the wonder of life itself. I hope your friend recovers from her disorder soon.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Estella said...

A sense of peace and awe=Sunsets and sunrises, hummingbirds,flowers blooming, a childs smile.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Bec said...

Oh Guys! You made me cry!

I like to pride myself on attending to the small but important pleasures in life, but you've all expressed the pleasure of simple joys so well!

I'm actually thinking of printing off your responses one by one and taking them to my little friend day by day! That'll give her something to think about!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Bec said...

Bonni, The artwork is by Marci McDonald. She has the most beautiful website. At the introduction to the website she writes "Imagine your wildest fantasies...I can't paint that." I thought it was the most wonderfully bold and captivating statement! Nowadays when I'm taking my dog for a walk, or watching the butterflies in my garden I wonder..."Can I write that"?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Pamk said...

sorry about your friend. I will remember her in my prayers tonight. I love anything dealing with water waterfalls, the ocean, or just sitting by the river. that is so peaceful too me. And sunset or sunrises over the ocean is a favorite.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Pam P. said...

Adding another prayer for your friend's daughter, Bec.

I like being by the shore also, listening to the waves rolling in after dusk and through the night is very peaceful and soothing.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Bec said...

Oh dear! I've been so busy I forgot to post a winner! Estella! Drop me a line on and let me know which of my books you'd like to read!

8:05 AM  
Blogger Cyndi Redding said...

Hi Sweetie!

I'm a day late, but I still wanted to comment. Thank you for remembering my autumnal ritual of leaf peeping! It's best on a warmish day in October when I can put the top down on my convertible to get an ubobstructed view! It's even better if I can take a friend along and stop for cider and Oatmeal cookies at a farm stand.

I can't tell you how much I hate the winter. Well, actually, I can and I have! LOL. You told me to bundle up and take a walk in the snow, smell the crisp air, watch nature sleep and recharge her batteries for another year.

I'll have to try that until we retire and move south. I'm up for it! Earlier springs, later autumns... Sounds truly wonderful.

4:23 PM  
Blogger eveconstance said...

I'm sorry about your young friend. The things that bring me inner peace are good books, beaches, and chick movies.

7:13 PM  

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