Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Favorite Things

I've been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, a book that fell into my hands when a friend was disposing of yet someone else's books. Guess I was meant to read it. So far what intrigues me is that the chapter I read this morning--on the patio with coffee and the dog and quiet all around--was about recognizing what makes us happy. This came within an hour of my flapping shut the journal with the thought, this bores me. I had nothing to say worth saying. Not a happy response from a woman who has a dog, a cup of coffee, and a patio with clematis and tomato blossoms, peppers, strawberries, and lemon cucumbers sprouting. And, who did not have to plant any of these wonders, because her talented daughter does the gardening. Now that right there, those growing things, ought to be enough. But add the old-soul eyes of Duncan the Dog, the dog, and the list grows. Then the blond grandson, who just got his orange belt in karate and pitched out three batters this summer, at ten years old, who can read faster than a speeding bullet, who actually wears his glasses, well, need I say more?

Yes, of course I can say more, for sure: Frank Gregg's music, Billy Collins's poems, the little yellow roses in a pot on the windowsill in front of me, my desk and laptop, the lovely red box where I stash miscellaneous desktop stuff, the blue sky through the window, my healthy fingers on the keyboard, my black shoes and my new sneakers. The classical music pouring out of the radio, an orchid plant on the bookcase, the bookcase and its contents. You get the idea. Boredom is an act of inattention. In a few minutes I'll go brush my teeth and be glad to have them. Later today I'll go to friends and share a barbecue. Who cannot appreciate a Sunday afternoon on the porch with live music, good conversation and guacamole?

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