Elevate the Simple Things!

A tent and a picnic basket is waiting to be unpacked in a forest.

While this has been an exceptionally challenging year, late summer is always a great time to take stock of the all the things we are grateful for and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. The weather is still perfect for outdoor physically distanced gatherings with good friends using the appropriate protective protocols. Farm produce is bountiful and summer wildflowers are in full bloom. Urban areas have emptied out and there is space to enjoy the green space, parks and water features. This is the time of year to take pause and notice the simple things — the sun on your face, the wind in your hair — the taste of a ripe strawberry melting it’s juice on your tongue. Here are a few of my favorite ways to elevate and celebrate the simple things:

  • Nurture friendship by planning a picnic with a pal – make it special by packing colorful linens, refreshing drinks and some local summer fruit and salads that brim with the flavors of the season
  • Go for an early morning or evening walk during these dog days of late summer and enjoy the lighting and tranquility of this special time of year.
  • Take time to call or write to an older person in your life and tell them how much you value them –these are isolating times for them and your connection will bring them great joy
  • In the early morning, take notice of the birds around you especially before their migration season begins. Admire their plumage, notice their mannerisms and listen to their calls. If you like, download a nature app like Merlin to help you identify them and learn more 
  • Visit a local farmer’s market and treat yourself to homemade baked goods, fresh picked flowers or fresh fruits or vegetables
  • Sit under a large shady tree and begin reading a good book or even better how about exploring some poetry?
  • Go for a nature walk or do an art project with a young child. See the world through their eyes and rediscover your own childhood wonder.
  • On a clear late evening, make the time to go to an area where there is minimal light pollution and look up as the darkness begins to showcase the night sky. See what planets and constellations you can identify. If you like you, download an app like Skyguide to help you connect the star dots!
  • Reconnect with an old friend by phone from a different country and listen to their stories and hear what’s happening on their side of the planet
  • Begin each day with a simple meditation of gratitude or prayer. Start a journal and every day write one entry of what you are grateful for in that moment of time. In the future, if there are times you are feeling down, go back and read the journal — remind yourself of all the things that give you joy and why life is precious!

Written by Anne Sansevero

Categories: COVID-19