A Thrill a Minute

I saw a post go by that made me think about how much more easily we were thrilled in childhood. Pizza for dinner was a thrill, Christmas morning was a big deal, the first snow flakes inspired our rapture, and school letting out was cause for giddy elation. We were thrilled by rainbows and cupcakes and sparklers… Life was wondrous (except when it wasn’t).

I have been thinking about this wonderfulness that was so close at hand when I was a kid, and even into early adulthood. Why did I mothball my capacity to be thoroughly delighted? I still like a good pizza, but pizza for dinner is just a “That’ll be a yummy change,” between “Have I paid the mortgage this month?” and, “I’d better wash a load of towels tonight.” The world is too much with me, late and soon–the practical, whiny, devil-in-the-details world.

And yet, in these challenging and annoying times, for wonder to lose out to a load of laundry strikes me as a sour deal. So I challenged myself to be more appreciative of wonder, to focus on the little thrills when they come my way. A partial report of the results is as follows.

Do you know what’s truly wonderful? A leaf blower. I was on evening barn chores detail earlier this week, and one of the last things you do before lights out is use the blower on the aisle. All the little bits of hay and chaff and horse poo go whooshing down the aisle before you. You can make the dirt dance, ricocheting your dust devil off one wall into the other, and when you’re done–ten minutes later–that barn looks like Martha Stewart’s horse lives there.

I had never used a blower before, and I found it profoundly satisfying. (Barn work, sure! House work? Must I really?) More wonderful happened when I rode this week. My hands bounce all over the place and I have no stamina, but once Lola The Mare and I get going, especially to the right, we approach a forward, connected trot that can even move laterally. The plain English translation for that is, we rock along, and it is wonderful.

Pansies are wonderful–they scoff at snow. Shopping at the garden store is wonderful (IN MODERATION, Grace Ann). I got to provide a little assistance on a grant writing project this week, because federal procurement and I go way back. To use what I know in that regard was a real kick. That the landscaper is coming to till up my new forty-foot long pollinator strips (two of them) is great fun. That I found a glimmer of a plot idea for Lord Julian’s sixth tale is glorious.

And when I list these moments for you, they add up to a lot of smiles and some lightheartedness and the realization that wonder is still there. I just need to savor it with more focus.

What’s wonderful for you lately? What has thrilled you, even if it’s only the micro-thrill of using a leaf blower on the barn aisle?


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10 comments on “A Thrill a Minute

  1. I have collected wallpaper, largely from MS Bing though I am a diehard Google Chrome browser user. I have so many over the years that I separated them into the 4 seasons. Earlier this week, I replaced the winter set with the spring set. I have 86 right now but will certainly add to them during the season. Since they’re only visible if I’m not doing something else on the computer (like reading emails and blogs and replying to same), I don’t see all of them in one day. So I have been having random moments of wonder this week as I see a new picture that I haven’t seen in a year. Since it’s spring, many of the pictures are full of flowers and that cheers me up a lot. Living in west central Florida, I had the full azalea bush bloom in late February/early March but they’re done now, until next year.
    Actually, I tend to have lots of moments of wonder since I’m basically still a kid inside. In fact, when people comment that I look much younger than my actual years, I tell them it’s due to my immature outlook on life! (OK, it’s really good genes inherited from my folks and never being a tanning fan.)

  2. Good on ya, Grace! I, too, try ot be more mindful of the small things arund me that can spark joy. The redbud trees blooming. The cool spring breeze teasing me about warmth to come. The soothing sound of rainfall.
    I agree that adults lose touch with that sense of wonder, and we’re poorer for it. How wonderful when it can reclaim it, in any small way, and make our lives larger

  3. The idea of your pollinator strip thrills me! What a terrific idea. On my way to the mailbox today, I paused beside some heretofore unseen weeds in the front yard. With nothing more than bare hands, I routed several armfuls of weeds – and was thrilled to discover a network of small insects who live just below the thatch created by the unwanted plants. Setting aside my weed-pulling obsession, I was also thrilled with the scrambled-egg daffodils in the yard, the pair of Carolina wrens haranguing me for mealy worms, the native flowering trees raining their small petals.

  4. Wonderful for me today was discovering that the blossoms on my very first attempt to grow fava beans really are turning into beans! They are skinny and short right now, but oh my…they are actually there. I was jumping up and down next to the vegetable box when I spotted the little bean-lettes.
    I have been making a conscious effort lately to find something joyful to celebrate every day. Small things. The garden is often where I find them. My sweet old dog rolling on his back in the grass. The first tiny leaves on a new crepe myrtle tree I feared had succumbed to a tremendous January storm. Fat pink worms spotted in the compost.
    Spring is so appreciated this year.

  5. It seems that as we get older and can plan our own thrills, they aren’t as exciting. Except I try to be open to what happening around me & then a glorious sunrise or sunset, wildflowers in the bar ditch on my morning walk, (not here yet) good spring moisture (yay!) are my thrills.

  6. Nature is still a thrill for me. Our first blooming plants in the yard will make an appearance in a week or two, I can see the first signs and the anticipation is delightful.

    I am not a gardener but I have been able to successfully propagate some houseplants and I find it a wonderous process. When a cutting roots, I get ridiculously excited, like I am witnessing magic.

    Vacuum cleaners are amazing, don’t even get me started on a wet vac! I totally understand your fondness for the leaf blower!

  7. When I was in Junior High School all those years ago, I remember when the weather first turned warm in the spring. Because we girls were required to wear skirts or dresses to school, and we wanted to enjoy those first warm days of the year, we would wear shorts underneath our skirts, stripping off the skirts as we exited the building. It was just so liberating and such a heady feeling to enjoy those sunny days without the restriction of skirts. (The boys appreciated our shorts as well!!! LOL!) As a senior, I try to recreate those thrilling feelings (but without the shorts!!!), enjoying these beautiful days of early spring by sitting out in the garden just mulling over the good fortune we have had in our lives, to be healthy, financially solvent, happily married to a wonderful man (who puts up with me), and living in a place where wildlife abounds. Even without the shorts, it makes me ecstatically happy! Stay safe. Stay well everyone!

  8. Pressure washing! In Florida, concrete driveways and patios accumulate stains, and pressure washing takes them right off. Rent a machine on a hot day, and enjoy the cool mist all around you as you blast away dirt, changing your driveway from night to day. It’s so grand that even just watching it feels good – so people post videos on youtube, lol.

    My life is a lot more limited these days, so when a burble of happiness wells up in my heart, I notice it, savor it, and share my joy.

    Last week I saw a turtle trying to get into my neighbor’s garage. We live in a shirt row of townhomes. Next time I came outside, he was at our garage door, looking for a way in. Bump, bump, bump. So I followed him, as he went on to our neighbor’s garage in the other side. Bump, bump, bump. Theirs is the last in our row of townhomes, and when he got past it the turtle took off straight towards the back yard. Our building backs on a canal, and he headed right for it. He knew the water was there even though a row of houses blocked his path, and didn’t let anything stop him! I followed him from a distance to make sure he was okay, and his sploosh dive into the canal was glorious. He resurfaced for a breath, and then dived down until he was gone from sight. Made my day.

  9. This year I decided to test my seeds. Yah, who new? A friend suggested it. So I bought 10 tiny, 5″ x 7″ green houses with lights and 2 plant heating pads. My kitchen looks like a mad scientist live here.
    Low and behold, all but my wild sun flowers have germinated. Infact many have out grown their green houses.
    I still have a month before I can plant them outside.
    I luv my plant babies. I happily check for the tiny pin heads of green then giggle like mad when I find them.
    My grandparents were farmers and had a huge vegetable garden that fed them all year. I’m hoping I’m chanelling some of that. Of course they had no electricity or running water. I wonder if Granny tested her seeds. My Mom said Granny loved her garden.
    Seeing new growth that I planted, communing with my beloved Granmother and planning where all my plant babies will live, makes me
    Very happy. What a great way to use the gray days of winter and enjoy the time till planting.