I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the value of simply enjoying life as it comes. I spent this weekend in Virginia visiting my family & college roommate. While sitting on top of a mountain yesterday with my friend, we discussed how important it is to relish the simple pleasures in life & how careers should never be the focus or center of anyone’s life, no matter how wonderful that career might be. My therapist helped me to understand this concept a couple of months ago & I keep coming back to it for one reason or another. I’ve found that my therapist was so right when she said that achieving greater balance in life between career, family, friends, hobbies, etc actually leads to finding greater satisfaction in all of those things. As a life-long perfectionist, sometimes such concepts are difficult to grasp but I am slowly learning to do so. I actually wrote a whole post recently about the importance of having fun without guilt & making time to just soak up all the amazing experiences life has to offer (see https://athicketofmusingsblog.com/2014/05/16/the-pain-of-regret/).
When I have kids I plan to teach them to have goals & to chase their dreams in life, to work hard & hone skills such as music or dance. But I also plan to teach them to understand the simple pleasures of life, such as walking barefoot in the grass, because without those things, nothing else really means anything.
While the movie was grossly historically inaccurate, I still love the song Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas, most especially the last three lines: You can own the earth and still/All you own is earth until/You can paint with all the colors of the wind. That’s what I’m trying to express here.
All of this thinking led me to remember a poem I wrote almost 4 years ago. I composed it almost entirely in my head while visiting my grandmother’s grave at the cemetery in my hometown. As I told a cousin of mine this weekend, I can never write poetry intentionally. Or at least if I do it’s not any good. The only good poetry (in my opinion) I’ve ever written has been stuff that’s just “come to me,” like this one did. Anyway, I hope it speaks to you in some way today, & I hope you’ll never forget the importance of knowing how it feels to walk barefoot in the grass. It truly is one of the best feelings in the world. Cheers!
My feet slipped in the mud and wet grass
Frustrated, I removed my shoes and walked around barefoot
The feeling of the cool, wet grass under my feet
And then the warm black pavement
With cracks like rivers running through it
The sting of the hard pebbles as they cut into the soles of my feet
The sound of birds chirping, dogs barking, and rain falling
All served to transport my troubled mind
To a place of such pristine serenity
I spend my life busy, busy, busy
Always going, going, going
But in this short trip to the cemetery
Nature once again through her gentle beauty
Whispered words of wisdom in my ear
“Slow down, rest, relax, rejuvenate
Everything in life need not be purposeful, useful, or planned
Sometimes it is enough simply to exist
To experience the pleasure of walking barefoot in the grass
And to know that such simple pleasures
Are the very essence of our existence”