4 Simple Pleasures.
Scintilla Day 8: What are your simplest pleasures? Go beyond description and into showing the experience of each indulgence.
1) Eating out. I don’t even mean it has to be someplace fancy, though that has pleasures all its own as well. But the very act of leaving home to sit down somewhere else while other people prepare your food for you, (something I don’t generally like doing, because I am no good at it) is a simple pleasure.
Even if it’s just grabbing a fast food chicken sandwich while taking a break from a road trip, eating in a restaurant is such a relief to me on so many levels. The previously mentioned not having to cook myself. The breaking of the oftentimes claustrophobic nature of being a freelance writer working from home. The comfort of reminding myself that other people exist nearby without having to actually engage them. The occasional pretty server.
And of course heightened taste of food that is usually not that good for me.
2) Camping. Make no mistake; I don’t mean the most rugged type. I’m not a “tent in the middle of the woods” type of camper. But a simple RV or pop-up, or a tiny rented cabin at a campground? I am all about it.
The way things have to almost by force slow down. The earlier mornings, that despite the intrusion of modern conveniences somehow seem cleaner and softer than mornings we are at home.
The constant smell of fires and food during the day, and at night seeing dozens of tiny sparkling flecks that are the campfires of other distant campers you can’t even see. Tossing random twigs and leaves into your own fire and watching them burn into nothing. Hearing disembodied voices of nearby campers doing the same sort of things in the darkness around their own fires.
Seeing people you don’t even know walking around in clothes they probably wouldn’t be caught dead in outside of a campground. Kids never taking the swimming suits off, because of how much time they spend in the pool. The video arcades, stacked wall to wall with outdated games, and somehow always frigid even in summer due to overzealous air conditioning units. Grilled foods. Real breakfasts. A temporary connection to our primordial kin who had to camp. (Minus electricity and running water of course.)
3) Long walks. The knowledge that you’re doing your heart and other muscles in your body good. Clearing your mind of extraneous thoughts, and opening it to more useful, inspired, creative ones. Observing the aspects of your route-the houses, the people sitting on porches, birds nesting, sometimes even deer stopping to watch you as you stop to watch them. (Who will move first??) Sun on your face. Breeze through your hair. Possibilities.
This simple pleasure is sometimes enhanced when someone is with you. Sharing with one another. Understanding. Getting closer. (Sometimes without having to say anything.)
4) Old stories. You get with a group of people. You know what will come up eventually. The tired old stories of your group. You know what happens in them. You know how they end. In fact, everybody there knows how they end, either because they have heard the stories thousands of times, or because they themselves are part of the story. And yet, it is inevitable; the story gets told. As do countless others of similar pedigree. And everyone laughs again, almost as much as they did the last 40 times they’ve heard it. Because these stories are the fabric of our friendships, and the bonding agent of our lives. And…they’re free.