Thursday, November 24, 2011

little pleasures

A fairy visited me this morning.

I had wended my way through the leading stories in The Oregonian (another blessing from my Kindle).  The usual lamentations about political missteps.  Trouble in the Middle East.  Economic expectations dashed. 

The fare that has enlivened newspaper stories for the past century -- and before.

Earl Warren once said that he turned to the sports pages to see human accomplishments before he read of human failings on the front page.  But even the sports pages these days read more like rap sheets than the carols of angels.

I was in a funk.  For the past week I have been mumbling under my breath how I am bored.  The symptoms were all there.  Staying up until 5 AM only to sleep in until 11.  And then hanging around the house all day reading a bit.  Watching a film now and then.

It may be the natural result of several action-packed months.  Trips to the highlands.  A hurricane.  A new church building.

Maybe I was simply befuddled by the lack of activity.  A void of projects.

But before I could venture down self-pity lane, I was distracted by my visitor.  A dragonfly.  Which type, I am not certain.  I once knew quite a bit about insects, but that arcana took leave, along with the names of the 1959 Dodgers starting lineup, several years ago.

A dragonfly it was, though.  Enjoying the shade from its high speed dog fights with mosquitoes.  Perhaps, a lunch break.

It could not possibly know the risk of landing there on that shrubbery.  Lacking speed to kill mosquitoes, I rely upon the Ypres solution -- gas warfare.  My little patio is regularly saturated with bursts of Raid.  It works.  But there are always collateral victims.

Whether it intuited the danger or not, it waited patiently on the perimeter of danger.

What was odd is that it was there.  The laguna is no stranger to dragonflies.  Because it is the breeding ground for mosquitoes.  And the dragonflies regularly zoom through my garden, where the mosquito population is only marginally less than the crocodile haven.

But I have never seen one rest as long as this one did.  Probably no more than a minute.  Not disturbed in the least when I slipped inside to retrieve my camera.

Brief though the encounter was, I realized it had taken my mind off of my self-imposed boredom.  The very sight of it was enough to remind me that life truly is made of moments.

And if we live within the moment we have, it is excitement enough to shoo off those little negative tendrils that slip into our lives.


Marc Olson said...

Thanks for the great moment. I have tried to spend increasing chunks of my precious life-time living in these kinds of moments. They are there, free for the finding, any time we want them. The more successful I am at that, I find the happier and more content I become.

Theresa in Mérida said...

Dragonflies are so pretty, I adore them. Steve, I too get restless, not exactly bored but filled with a need to create or do something just like you described. I like to pride myself on never being bored, but that is just hubris on my part. There is always something to do when you own an old house, it's just that I don't always want to do that stuff.  Once I do start doing those things, I stop being bored and wonder why I resisted.

"And if we live within the moment we have, it is excitement enough to
shoo off those little negative tendrils that slip into our lives." you are so right, those are words to live life by. Simple and so true.


Darrel Cotton said...

Definitely no boredom here in Virginia.  I’m up at the crack of dawn chasing grandsons and trying to get a turkey in the oven.  Christy is home working and Kaitlyn is at Berkley.  It’s a typical Cotton family holiday.

Felipe Zapata said...

Bored? You need a lover.

tancho said...

Bored? Now if you were a homeowner you would have tons of projects to tend to, and no time for boredom. Felipe's suggestion is also something to consider.....

al lanier said...

Whenever in danger of falling into the self-pity pot, I just walk outside to see what's going on in this little ranch of ours. With one or more of our dogs following, I invariably find some animal, flower or landscape that will take my mind off my own self-importance. Thanks for your blog. 


Steve Cotton said...

I often get stuck in the "do something" mode when I could simply "enjoy this."

Steve Cotton said...

Now, if I can only follow my own advice.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday -- because it is an opportunity for the family to gather.  And ours is in three states and two countries.  As you say, a typical Cotton holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well.

Steve Cotton said...

Ah, a situational remedy.

Steve Cotton said...

If I could just get over myself, I would avoid a lot of boredom.

Steve Cotton said...

I find the same to be true if I take a walk around the laguna.  It is a great world we have been given.

Mcotton said...

I pulled up your blog before retiring last night.  I viewed this beautiful dragonfly.  It looks so delicate and peaceful.  Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

Today is Thankggiving Day.  Thinking back to when our ancestors participated in the First Thanksgiviging Day, sharing their food with the Indians who had helped them survive that first terrible winter, and giving thanks to God for bountiful harvest.  According to Adelia adnd Robert Notsom in Stepping Stones: The Pilgims own Story there were eighty Indians invited to the feast.

That must have been some great feast.

 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord" Ps 92:1

Happy Thanksgiving Steve.  May the Lord keep you in the hollow of his hand. 

Steve Cotton said...

Thanksgiving down here without the family is hardly the holiday I love to celebrate.  I hope you have a great day, as well.

A fan said...

Hey Steve,
I agree with you re seeing what is there. I have to tell you I have been reading your blog since I discovered it, about Jova time. It has enriched my visit to this area - from frozen centralish BC - and given me a quick daily check in while I am here. I am guessing that next week, back in winter, I will be looking to see what is up in your patch of paradise. And your blog will take me right back here. Now with that kind of power, how can you be bored?
Last night we were watching Jupiter with binos, after snorkeling in that world

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks.  Both Jupiter and Venus have been amazing for the past weeks.

Kim G said...

Boston is full of dragonflies in the summer, even downtown, which is not where you'd really expect to find them. But they are without a doubt my favorite insect -- hummingbirds of the insect world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kim G
Boston, MA
Where, after not eating enough all day, have now over-eaten.

Steve Cotton said...

"Hummingbirds of the insect world."  I like that.

Nopogayle said...

Good Criminy!  You MUST be bored to be reading that fishwrapper newspaper from this town!  I certainly hope you're not a paying subscriber?  Gayle from PDX 

Steve Cotton said...

I enjoy reading it to feel smug about all of the nonsense I am missing.