I was driving around yesterday while listening to Fred Child on Performance Today. PT has been one of my favorite shows since high school, and Angela and I still sigh with pleasure when we hear Fred’s soothingly, reassuringly confident voice pipe out of the stereo.
A piece came on that featured the cello. Glorious, rich, voice-like tones filled the Forester. However, it quickly dawned on me that I was not listening to a cellist perform but to a classical guitarist. The first notes were so low and slow that I had been duped!
This is a small pleasure of mine: hearing an instrument and being mentally tricked into thinking it’s another. When a trombone sounds like a French horn, when a viola sounds like a tenor, when a flute sounds like a violin.
Small pleasures are little, quite personal delights that can bring a little magic into an everyday experience. Here are some other small pleasures:
When a writer uses a semicolon perfectly.
Tasting chocolate chip cookie dough.
Gently petting my dog’s soft ears.
When a chickadee visits the bird feeder.
Precise, unhurried pipet work.
Pulling on brand new wool socks.
Receiving surprise mail from a friend (is this a universal small pleasure?).
While on a walk, stopping to feel the sun on my face, eyes closed and chin slightly up.
When I come home and realize that someone else has cleaned the house.
A shared beer on a sunny chairlift.
At risk of sounding cliché, I think it’s important to recognize the small pleasures. Little bright spots in an ordinary day; unique, treasured moments.