Each Wednesday my grandson Rowan comes to my place to do an online math class. Today he had a test and it was the last test and class until next year. We have our ritual: I pick him up after school and we order a personal-size Score Pizza, for his supper, which he loves. His math class ends at 6:15 and we then spend the next two hours doing math. I get to solve problems too so we can compare our answers. You can guess who is mostly right but I can still measure up, now and then.
This doesn’t sound like much fun, but honestly, we laugh a lot and Rowan actually loves this class. And I look forward to Wednesdays.
Tonight, however, there was no homework that had to be done immediately and we thought a break was in order. Coincidentally I had signed up for a drawing with coloured pencils course from the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. A participant in one of my programs sent me a note about this, otherwise, I would never have found it. When I received the email confirmation they suggested I could bring a child 12 years and up. I wondered if Rowan might be interested and he was.
So my evening consisted in taking this 90-minute experiential lesson on Zoom with my grandson and it was beautiful, absorbing, educational, relaxing, and fun. I thought to myself as we drew grids and learned about colors and how to use them – what a simple pleasure. We were easily engaged in the tasks and it is now a forever memory in our lives.
It doesn’t have to be with a young child either. On Monday evening I attended a remarkable one-hour event with poet Rosemerry Whatola Trommer on compassion. For some reason, I was inspired to invite my daughter to join me. And we both loved it. Rosemerry beams compassion and her choice of poems from a variety of poets was simply perfect. She offered up bits of commentary, writing prompts for later, wholeheartedness, tenderheartedness, and laughter. She is a gifted poet and teacher.
I know it sounds like an exaggeration to say there were life-changing moments in that session. So I will be quiet about it.
These simple and special pleasures are coming in waves: unexpectedly. Beautiful surprises that I would never have found on my own and made more precious by inviting another. They actually started on Sunday when I invited a special friend to an event hosted by poet David Whyte on Friendship. None of these events required a great deal of time or money. In fact, they all stated that no one would be turned away due to a lack of funds. It’s amazing, this generosity and the sliding scale to pay what you can.
I’m thinking of the open studio I host on Saturdays at 2:00 where a few people from one of my programs drop by to work on creative projects of their own in the company of others. It is easy and gentle and companionable. Gratis. A simple pleasure that I will continue through the winter. I plan to open it up to a few others in the new year. It is one guaranteed way that I will spend an hour or so a week on my own creative arts. And a way for others to do the same. No teaching. Just enjoying what we do, together. I love it.
If this has not been enough, my grandson invited me to join him after school tomorrow to take photos of the blue hour. You know it is that special time before sunset, especially in the winter, where there is a cast of blue on everything. Some days are better than others. We noticed that the weather will be warm and overcast so we may be taking photos of shades of white and gray but it’s ok. We will be out walking around with our cameras noticing beauty and sharing photos.
Simple pleasures. It doesn’t get any better.
1:) I would love to know what a simple pleasure is for you. We are all different. Another one I like on Dec 26th is to curl up in front of the tree and read for a few hours, or my first cup of coffee. When the winter sun, beams through the window, my whole day lights up. Many of us won’t be going far afield, once again, by the look of things, so having a few simple pleasures up our sleeves may come in useful.
2:) I am including the link for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, where we took the drawing course tonight. The website is not great, so you have to look but there are a number of courses and a number of short studies to look at on various aspects of drawing and painting Georgia O’Keeffe style. The scale starts at $5.00 for courses. Here is a link to a sample course. https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/event/online-class-animal-watercolor-painting-3/
3:) I will give you more information about Rosemerry’s programs next week.
4:) I have mentioned a few times that I love Oliver Burkeman’s latest book Four thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. Believe me, it’s not what you think. It was also named (amongst many awards) one of the five best Philosophy books in 2021.
5) I do hope you experience simple pleasures this month: sitting in front of the fire with a good book and nodding off. Is that not happiness. Thank you, each of you who takes the time to read these scribbles. May you find beauty in every day. With love and appreciation, and all my best wishes, Trudy