Enjoying life’s simple pleasures

Published 10:01 pm Saturday, July 11, 2009

The glow awakened me just at dawn. Outside the bedroom window branches of the oak tree were in silhouette against the slowly brightening sky.

As I looked banners of rose and gold were flung across banks of clouds hanging low over the horizon and broad washes of brilliant blue filled the sky between.

Still hidden beneath the curve of the earth the sun revealed its presence in golden reaches of light touching rooftops and sparkling on dew-damp shrubs and grass.

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Flinging open the front door I stood, mesmerized, until the colors faded and one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen flowed into Monday’s world.

Always an early riser I find as I grow older that morning for me comes earlier and earlier, so I see many sunrises. With each I think of my grandmother who arose with the dawn all the years I knew her.

Even after she became dependent on a cane, she began her day with a walk around the yard.

I can see her now, her head held back to breathe in the fresh morning air, and occasionally bending low over an opening rose.

And I understand now how she must have longed for the days when, by sunrise, she would have prepared breakfast for her family and was already at work in her vegetable garden.

Mother was an early riser, too, but she always settled down with the morning paper and a cup of coffee before taking up the broom and stepping outdoors “to sweep the front and the sidewalk.”

Perhaps growing older brings an increased awareness of the beauty around us, the beauty that is found in nature, in simple acts of kindness, in uncomplicated ways of life.

Whatever the reason I am grateful that this heightened consciousness is increasingly a part of my life.

One morning I enjoyed a cup of coffee with a friend on the brand-new latticed porch recently added to her home.

Picture perfect with luxuriant ferns in hanging baskets and bright with pot of pink and red geraniums in exultant bloom, the porch was shaded by an old oak tree.

Just outside a small table centered a small terrace, creating a setting perfect for enjoying summer in Selma without suffering the heat.

Swiftly now flow the years of my life, but the sweetness of memory and the joy of recall remain.