A while ago I read this newsletter from Sarah Bessey. She wrote that during this time when she is house-bound with 4 kids, she gets a little time to herself by taking a 30-minute bath every night. On one night:
I got out of the tub ... And the thought came, unbidden, to my mind: I love this in particular. This, the hot water, the smell of the bath salts, the clean towel, the damp paperback on the edge of the tub, the rosiness of my cheeks, the languid heat rising from my limbs, the noise on the other side of the door: love this.…
...I’ve found - entirely by accident - that this practice of loving this in particular a few times a day is actually functioning as both an invocation and a benediction. ... This has been a nice surprise.
A while back I listened to an interview of Ross Gay, the author of a book called The Book of Delights, a book of essays he wrote each day about what delighted him. The practice Sarah Bessey wrote of -- loving this in particular a few times a day -- reminded me of what Ross Gay said. He wrote an “Ode to Buttoning and Unbuttoning My Shirt.” Can’t get much less highfalutin and deep than buttoning your shirt. Yet he delighted in it.
Without thinking too much about it, I started noticing little things I love in particular. It came naturally to me. I have read many times about the practice of gratitude, things like writing every day 3 things you’re grateful for, but I could never keep that up. Somehow trying to list what I’m grateful for was harder. It wasn’t something natural that just occurred to me throughout the day. I tended to be grateful for bigger things like my family, the fact I have shelter, my health, and so on. But with loving something in particular, size and importance did not matter.
Here are some of the things I love in particular that have come to my mind in the last few days.
A tree, green leaves, black trunk, its shadow on the green hill.
My granddaughter’s profile
On a walk around the block, the smell of a rosebush that wafted in the breeze when I was still around 4 feet away.
Crawling back into bed after breakfast with my book and my coffee.
I took pictures of some of the things and started a gallery. I keep forgetting to add to it, but it’s a start.
I am glad to have these reminders -- some little, some big -- of God's love in this world that can sometimes seem bleak and full of hate. How about you? What do you notice you love in particular?
Praise God for all the things we love in particular.