My friend Melody died a couple of weeks ago from cancer. On what became her last night with us, her husband Raylan opened their house for friends to come visit with her. We talked to her and knew that even though she couldn’t respond, she heard us and appreciated that we were there. We shared stories of her beautiful life, lived boldly and energetically. We laughed and we cried.
Raylan opened the Bible to show us a passage he was planning on using for her memorial and I took note of his bookmark. It was a piece of paper with writing on both sides. A list of simple things that brought him pleasure or peace. He also showed us that Melody had started a list of her own and he was sad that she hadn’t finished it. Her list included some things that made me smile: the first sip of white wine, walking in the street, spooning, Christmas lights without glasses on.
I have been thinking about that list since then and have started one of my own. In my book club, of which Melody was a member and is deeply missed, I asked the other ladies to list some of their simple pleasures, too. Some of what we shared were: the smell of rain, a hug from your teenager, french vanilla latte, smell of a wood fire, streams, crisp white shirt, going barefoot, rocks, half a beer, working up a good sweat, taking off bra, trash TV at night, mountain air.
Especially in dark times, it is important to remember the simple things that give us hope, joy, and light. Those things that make us feel centered or at peace. That make us laugh unexpectedly or smile in secret. I am working on my list and keep it where I will see it every day. It is a prayer of remembrance, of hope and of thanksgiving. But most of all, it is a reminder to me that the simple pleasures make such a big difference.
I hope that you can take some time this week to start a list. What will be on it?