Did you trap an elf today?

You know me. I’m the one in your yoga class that the instructor is addressing when he asks anyone that has a noisy mind, to kindly empty it out and just focus on their breathing.

I’ve always taken perverse pleasure in my ability to multi-task; to always have an updated to-do list top of mind; and –to my husband’s great dismay- to be poised at any hour of the day to helpfully complete a speech, a paper, a story, or even a sentence for anyone at a momentary lack for words.  I wake up caffeinated and ready to charge into each day.

But this year I have the opportunity to slow down for a bit. To take stock and think about breathing in my life a bit more fully, consciously and slowly.  I’m truly enjoying long conversations, beautiful California vistas from bike, hike and kayak vantage points, and more time with the people I love and admire.  And, I am reveling in the time to really look at the experiences that color my existence: finding little moments of kindness or beauty, or whimsy that light up a day.

Today, I strolled a path that I’ve only biked on previously.  A lovely dappled-light Spring afternoon set the dreamy backdrop for my walk, where I spied things that I’d completely missed in the past,  likely too busy thinking of my task list.

First, a full neighborhood of quaint birdhouses.  Brightly colored and creatively crafted, two dozen sweet homes were tucked amidst a copse of branches, literally off the beaten path of the nearby bike trail.

Birdhouse neighborhood.
Birdhouse neighborhood.

At my house, we have a new family of tiny wrens chirping away in a birdhouse our son built 10 years ago in grade school, propped up on our chimney base.  This is the first year I’ve stopped to notice the momma swooping in with offerings to the tiny chorus members nested inside. Fun to imagine all of the growing families ensconced in this hidden village of houses.

Next, was a flight of fancy.  A sunny collection of flowers caught my eye.  Upon closer inspection, the pink Gerbera and purple Hyacinth were part of a tableau, accompanied by a moss-lined and coin-topped treasure box and a sign that read: “Trap the Elf”.  And, just a few feet away, a tiny wooden door had been built in front of the trunk of a tree–ostensibly the Elf’s woodsy home.

Whimsical moment: Trap the Elf!
Whimsical moment: Trap the Elf!

These sweet, whimsical moments made me grateful. Grateful for the afternoon. Grateful for the families that had lovingly painted little corners of the world with their creative expressions. Grateful for the memories this sparked of my family’s magical moments. Grateful to clear my mind and breathe. Deeply.

 

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