I adore some things. Adore.
Walking near any body of water.
Picking produce from a garden for dinner.
Mary Oliver's poetry.
Misty mornings on the Oregon coast.
The colors, sights, sounds, and smells of a farmer's market.
Lots more, but that's enough to make my point, which is that simple things make me solidly, thoroughly happy.
My sister went to the farmer's market with Mom and me this morning. Never been before. Probably won't go again: The produce department at the local store is easier. When I pointed out a stall with a particularly beautiful display, she looked at me blankly. "They're vegetables."
She's right, of course. And she couldn't be more wrong. They're vegetables. They're also colors and textures and smells and tastes. They're the fruits of someone's hard work. They're the potential for delicious, nutritious meals. They are simple beauty.
No matter how much my family makes fun of me for it, I am deeply grateful for my ability to take pleasure in simple beauty. It holds me to the Earth when I might otherwise fly off into complete panic over the friends who are seriously ill; my daughter, who is shopping for an engagement ring; my favorite aunt and uncle, who are facing Parkinson's (her) and advancing Alzheimer's (him) without a younger generation to help (their only daughter died at 38); my father, who must have a bronchioscope on Thursday to check out a "narrowing" on his airway.
These are hard things, and when there is anything I can do about them, I do. When there is nothing left to do, I revel in picking fresh basil and composing a beautiful tomato mozzarella salad.
If that makes me simple minded, I'm okay with that.