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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ten Things

This post comes as a result of a note from Aine of the blog The Evolving Spirit.Her blog was the recipient of what she calls an award, though I would call it a meme, which involved listing ten things that make her happy, then passing the meme on to ten other blogs. As I was sort of in two of her ten blogs, I'm only doing the listing part here at this one, and hoping that at Women On, where I also blog, we can come up with ten other blogs to send this to. This was a wonderful assignment, causing me to reflect on the many things in my life that daily induce happiness. The difficult part was choosing only ten of them!! I didn't include chocolate, or flowers, or bodysurfing....oops, I think this is cheating. So here are my chosen ten, and though I'm not officially sending this on, anyone who chooses to play is welcome to do so.

1. Children. Almost any old children, anywhere - and this includes babies. My own nieces, nephews, and grandchildren of course are great sources of happiness. But children anywhere, in the supermarket, airport, restaurants, playgrounds, always bring a smile to my face. They are often under-appreciated by those accompanying them, so I often try to bring a smile to their faces as well, making a silly face, whispering a bolstering word or just a grin.

2. Birds. Birding is one of my main pastimes, and I do it anywhere I am, including my backyard, where we often have large crowds at the birdfeeders, fountains, and in the big cottonwood. In the spring and summer I plant for them, and last summer's many different kinds of sunflowers brought flocks into the yard well into the fall.

3. Working in the garden. Working hard, getting dirty, sweating. In the spring and summer I work outside as much of every day as I can. Middle of the day in the full sun and heat is out, of course, but early morning and evenings are simply heaven. The hummingbirds keep me company as I work, so - there - that's two things at one time, garden and birds.

4. Rain. This one is a corollary to number three - as it is so dry here that I, along with all my plants, constantly yearn for rain. Whenever it actually rains, like this morning, I am so happy I often go out and dance in it. Well, not this morning, as it was quite too cold to dance. But my heart was dancing. We've had no rain all winter, so this week's storms are manna for all our dormant roots.

5. Green chile. This is strictly a Southwestern source of happiness. Since coming to NM I have discovered the joys of cooking with green chile, and am constantly experimenting. I love how it smells here in the fall, with green chile roasting in the parking lots of every market and farm stand. It is a wonderful smell, one that you can practically taste, saying ahhhhhhhhhhhh: tamales! stew! soups! warmth in the winter's cold!

6. Meaningful Work. I've done a lot of things in my life, but mostly I have taught. For the past ten years I have taught English to speakers of other languages, starting in Delaware, continuing here in NM. My current job is at the University of NM, teaching immigrant employees of the University, service employees for the most part - and wonderful people with such enthusiasm for learning this language, for helping their children with their schoolwork, for becoming citizens. This is work that makes me happy into the marrow of my bones. I love it.

7. Singing. Best of all is singing with a group, but so far I haven 't found a compatible group to sing with here. I tried one out, but didn't enjoy the music selections, and they expected the singers to learn parts a lot faster than I am capable of. So, I just put in a CD and sing along at the top of my lungs, or make up words to the tunes that are always playing on the jukebox of my mind. I sing when I'm happy, and it makes me happy to sing, so it's a full circle.

8. New Socks Especially in the winter, when my feet are always cold. We just got a bunch of delicious warm new boot socks on sale, they're great colors, soft and cozy, and every time I put on a brand new pair my feet and I hum with happiness.

9. Farmers' Markets. There is almost nothing more beautiful than the piles and basketfuls of freshly harvested vegetables and fruits, braids of garlic, loaves of bread, jars of jam, artisan cheeses, handmade pastas that show up every weekend, and some of the weekdays, at the growers' markets here in town. Even on a day when I don't purchase anything, just browsing the stalls, talking to the growers, smelling the earthy richness of it all makes an hour or two at the market a peak experience.

10. The Moon, which is currently a beautiful silver waxing crescent. It's not hard at all for me to understand why people once worshipped the moon - I think I probably still do worship it, in my fashion. The full moon rising over the mountains in the winter has been the subject of much famous photography, but nothing beats the breathtaking experience of seeing it in person.


Anonymous said...

Great list. I love when you describe living in New Mexico, when we moved out to Nevada from the midwest in 1996, we drove and took a week so we could also enjoy the sights along the way. We took the southern route which led us through New Mexico. I loved it there so much I almost was prepared to just stay and not go on, but my husband had a new position to get to so on we went. I'm happy where I landed but NM would be at the top of my list of other places to live.


marigolds2 said...

Thank you for sending this, Aine, I had a very good time with it. So, yes, come on down here to NM - I'd love that. I may have to write a post about New Mexico, how and why we got here, and my feelings about it.

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks! I'd love that post, please do write about that. I'm going to write more about Las Vegas as soon as the rain stops and I can get out to get some digital photos of the areas I frequent rather than the images most people have in their head about LV.


sunflowerkat321 said...

I rarely do memes Mary Ellen, but for some reason, I thought this was a good thing to do and I'm very glad I took you up on the challenge. I posted my list here...


I love your list. Some things you included here could easily be on my list as well. It was very refreshing to know that I could have kept going on past ten.